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The history of cats and human companionship

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Around one third of American households have cats as beloved members, but even so cats remain somewhat of a mystery.

Let’s begin by looking at the history of humanity's relationship with the stately cat.

Scientific evidence leads our voyage back 9,000 years, to the Fertile Crescent, an arc of land that included present-day Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq. It was in this region's rising settlements that cats were first thought to blend on the edge of human society.

As people began harvesting and storing grains, cats found a likely role in this process by preying on the mice and other rodents that attempted to feast on the grains.
Taking care of the pests that interfered with the harvest is probably where cats and humans experienced their first mutually advantageous relationship.

As mankind were breeding many types of animals for their individual purposes, historical evidence puts forward their relationship with cats was more natural. Humans truly appreciated early cat's fantastic hunting instinct, and co-existed with cats without prying into and messing up their genetic breeding.

It's conjectured that natural selection ultimately further separated cats that favored human company from those that favored living in the wild, creating, over many years, the house cats we cherish today.

According to historians, as societies in The Fertile Crescent grew and prospered over the years, people began to travel. Since cats were known to present a useful service, they went along with them...

Egyptians genuinely believed their ability to see in the dark was a mystical power, and felines were held sacred to the Egyptians and literally thousands have been found mummified in burial chambers.

Europeans saw how their skills helped control the mouse and rat population and the spread of plague accompanying it.

During the rise of Buddhism in the 6th century in Japan, it was normal to employ a pair of cats in each temple to protect the manuscripts from mice. By 1602, it became law to release all cats into the streets so they could get rid of the pests hampering the silk trade.

It's believed the first cats brought to our country were in the band of the Pilgrims.

Today, cats are appreciated more than ever and have certainly earned their important spot in society.

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