There many differences between cats and other animals. All felines, from big wild cats to domestic small cats, have common features. Scientists claim that the cat species evolved about 40 million years ago from an animal similar to weasels. To make a comparison, human erectus, the first human being, evolved approximately 1, 8 million years ago.
The first domesticated cats are attributed to early Egyptian people who lived in the Upper Egypt area of the Nile. These first domestic cats were valued because they chased and killed small rodents and snakes. These pest animals constantly damaged the grain which was the main food source of Egyptians. Cats were an effective way for them to deal with these pests, so people kept them around.
As humans and cats got to know each other and their fear disappeared, a stronger and closer relationship between them developed. The Egyptian people were amazed by cat’s agility, their physical and hunting abilities. On the other side, cats enjoyed a safe shelter and received food from people. In addition, Egyptians were fascinated by the cat’s ability to see when it’s dark and to flexibly escape dangers. Cats’ typical indifferent behavior also contributed to their elevated status.
The high position of cats allowed them to travel up and down the Nile River on grain ships. Their presence on ships ensured the protection of the grain from animals like mice, rats and other small rodents. Under these favorable conditions, cats multiplied and spread thought the whole Nile region.
Cats’ abilities and values allowed them to be raised as high as royal members. Soon it became illegal to harm and kill cats. Egyptian people started calling cats Mau as this word resembles the meow sound. Later on this name was replaced by the word Urchat. A Cat goddess known as Pasht (similar to puss and pussy) was soon created and Egyptians worshiped it. The modern names for cats that we use nowadays have developed from the old Egyptian names.
Romans continued cats’ domestication because they also valued felines for their abilities to hunt. This allowed cats to spread across the Roman Empire. The fall of Rome marked the beginning of a really difficult time for felines. Cats, and especially black ones, were regarded as evil creations and were associated with witchcraft. Thus, they were persecuted and killed.
According to historians cats were so quickly domesticated because of their ability to eliminate pests, their physical flexibility and special behavior. Typically, cats are completely independent but they can also live in families and groups. While dogs need to be with people and require attention from people, cats can perfectly do alone. Felines are animals that don’t need special emotional closeness or approval.
The cats we know today and have as pets possess some of the characteristics of their ancient ancestors. Some people don’t like feline behavior and prefer dog pets. But there are individuals that value exactly the cat’s independence and demeanor, and are happy to have such pet at home. Cat owner and dog owners are completely different in their individuality because they value different per characteristics.
It is not easy to train cats but it is really possible. There are cat shows where you can see amazing tricks performed by felines. You can train your kitten to follow basic commands and to come when called by name. Many experts believe that cats are trainable if they want to do this and cat owners can’t make their pets do something against their will.
Another difference between cats and other animals are their agility, balance and strength. Felines can jump three times their height – something we humans can’t do. You may have heard the old saying that a cat has nine lives. This saying comes from the cat’s ability to avoid various physical harms. So, it is not surprising that felines are often able to escape from different disasters unharmed.
Cats are unique because of their ability to see at night, their physical strength and flexibility and their disability. Actually, cats don’t pretend that they don’t care. The truth is that they really don’t care. You may not like such indifferent behavior but feline don’t care about this too, so you better accept it.