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Cats and Their Allure: What, When, Where and Why


Domesticated cats have been gaining in popularity in the United States. It is projected that by the year 2010 there will be far more cats than dogs. Noted for their independence, cats can also be loving and loyal to their owners. They adjust well to indoor living, take great care in grooming themselves, and are easily trained to use a cat box. Cats, when they're not asleep, are observers. They stare into corners and spend hours sitting in windowsills. They don't bark, they don't whine; they purr. Occasionally, they scold.

Cats are also predatory, and some are very good mousers. In a flourishing society of condominiums and high-rise apartment buildings, many landlords ban dogs and accept cats. One building manager puts it like this: "As long as the cat doesn't wander through the halls and annoy others, I don't see any problem."

Cats, more than any other mammal, exhibit similar attributes and actions, no matter if they are wild or tame. Lions, tigers, leopards, wild cats, panthers, and house cats look similar and act very much alike--they are all predatory, nocturnal, fastidious, and defensive, but the domesticated cat is much smaller than its wild relatives. How did the wild cat first become domesticated, and where did it happen?

Origin of Cats

Looking back to the Late Eocene epoch (43.6 to 36.6 million years ago), it has been discovered that the "cat pattern" was already well established in the evolution of modern mammals. The earliest cats were easily recognizable as the ancestors of present-day felines. Other mammals had not yet evolved into a recognizable form. Typical cats (subfamily Felinae) appeared about 10 million years ago and have changed very little since that time.

The Anatomy of the Cat

Why is it that cats are able to curl up on the narrowest ledges, squeeze under the smallest spaces, or disappear at will when they sense an intrusion. The anatomy of the cat gives it great elasticity. It has a flexible spine and uses its tail and inner ear to maintain balance. Because of its inner-ear balance, it almost always lands on its feet when it falls and can jump from and to great heights without injury. For this reason, the cat is said to have nine lives.

The Historical Background of Cats

The history of the cat lends itself to drama, controversy, heroism, and mysticism on a somewhat uneven road from its domestication around 1500 B.C. to the present. From the moment the dog became domesticated, humans accepted it as a loyal and loving servant of man. The cat, however, has not been so blessed. It has been an icon of worship in ancient Egypt, a rat-catching hero during the plague years in Europe, and labeled a familiar for witches in Puritan America.

While dogs have been trained to assist humans as hunters, guides, companions, and enforcers, cats have no obvious purpose other than their presence in one's life. They're simply not very trainable. Yet, the art of relaxation has been mastered by the cat, and this attribute is assimilated by its human owners. Nursing homes often have a resident cat who is there only to be petted by the residents.

The Cat in Literature and Art

The cat is not as independent as it appears. It wants to be loved and cared for, and the contradictory interaction between humans and cats has been the subject of many children's books, novels, poems, and plays over the years. From fairy tales to Wanda Gäg's classic "Millions of Cats" (1929) to the long-running broadway show "Cats," based on T. S. Elliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" (1939), to "The Marble Cake Cat" (1977) by Marjorie and Carl Allen; from Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat in "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" (1865) to B. Kliban's contemporary cartoon cats, the cat has long been a fascinating subject for both children and adults.

Breeds of Cats

Many people believe that the Siamese cat originated in Ancient Egypt, but it actually is from the Far East and thought to be a domestication of the Asian wild cat. The 30 to 40 recognized distinctive breeds of cats can be grouped into two general categories: the long-haired Persian and the domestic shorthair. Most cats, however, unless they are show cats, are mixed breed.

Cats Around the World

In America, cats as pets have long been popular. In most families where there are cats as pets, there is only one, possibly two cats. They're not pack animals and don't adjust well to living on their own outside the home. Stray cats tend to be loners. In other countries, cats are not as pampered as they are in American homes, and are sometimes a source of food.

Marjorie Allen is a free-lance writer/editor, who has had several award-winning books published. She has taught writing and offers initial editing free. Check her website http://marjorienallen.com. Marjorie and her husband spend winters on the Baja Peninsula in Mexico and summers in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Wed. September / 23 / 2020

Website aims to help reunite Bear Fire survivors with their lost pets - Action News Now
Website aims to help reunite Bear Fire survivors with their lost pets  Action News Now

Preparing Your Pets for Disasters - PRNewswire
Preparing Your Pets for Disasters  PRNewswire

6 Tips for Traveling with Pets - KCTV Kansas City
6 Tips for Traveling with Pets  KCTV Kansas City

Pets of the Week: 9-22-20 – WBKB 11 - WBKB-TV
Pets of the Week: 9-22-20 – WBKB 11  WBKB-TV

With fall here, keep up pest preventatives for your pets and watch for seasonal allergies - NOLA.com
With fall here, keep up pest preventatives for your pets and watch for seasonal allergies  NOLA.com

A Minnesota law lets you provide for your pets after you've passed away - Minneapolis Star Tribune
A Minnesota law lets you provide for your pets after you've passed away  Minneapolis Star Tribune

Robotic pets used to help prevent social isolation for senior citizens in West Alabama - WBRC
Robotic pets used to help prevent social isolation for senior citizens in West Alabama  WBRC

Pets of the week - Chicago Tribune
Pets of the week  Chicago Tribune

Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week In Howard County - Columbia, MD Patch
Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week In Howard County  Columbia, MD Patch

All About Pets: Emergency preparations for your pets - Prescott Daily Courier
All About Pets: Emergency preparations for your pets  Prescott Daily Courier

Pets of the Week: Sept. 21 | The Herald-News - The Herald-News
Pets of the Week: Sept. 21 | The Herald-News  The Herald-News

Dozens Of Pets Transported From Virgin Islands Up For Adoption Through MSPCA-Cape Cod - CBS Boston
Dozens Of Pets Transported From Virgin Islands Up For Adoption Through MSPCA-Cape Cod  CBS Boston

95 lost pets seeking owners following North Complex West Zone Fire - KRCRTV.COM
95 lost pets seeking owners following North Complex West Zone Fire  KRCRTV.COM

Happy Tails Animal Shelter raises awareness about 'less adoptable' pets through partnership - FingerLakes1.com
Happy Tails Animal Shelter raises awareness about 'less adoptable' pets through partnership  FingerLakes1.com

How to protect your pets in the changing weather - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
How to protect your pets in the changing weather  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

2 Middle Tennessee shelters participate in BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters event - WKRN News 2
2 Middle Tennessee shelters participate in BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters event  WKRN News 2

Pets of Detroit: The Official Power Rankings - prideofdetroit.com
Pets of Detroit: The Official Power Rankings  prideofdetroit.com

Meet Ziva, Bodie and Princess, this week’s San Gabriel Valley Pets of the Week - The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Meet Ziva, Bodie and Princess, this week’s San Gabriel Valley Pets of the Week  The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe Dog Food in 4 lb Bags Because of a Possible Salmonella Health Risk (USA) - FDA.gov
Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe Dog Food in 4 lb Bags Because of a Possible Salmonella Health Risk (USA)  FDA.gov

PET TALK: Introducing a new baby to pets - New Castle News
PET TALK: Introducing a new baby to pets  New Castle News

Friends of Strays offers assistance to keep pets home with their families - St Pete Catalyst
Friends of Strays offers assistance to keep pets home with their families  St Pete Catalyst

‘Among Us' colors, costumes, and pets: How to customize your character - Inverse
‘Among Us' colors, costumes, and pets: How to customize your character  Inverse

Humans and their pets invited to family-friendly event in Rochester Hills - The Oakland Press
Humans and their pets invited to family-friendly event in Rochester Hills  The Oakland Press

Northport Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Shadow & Athena - Northport, NY Patch
Northport Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Shadow & Athena  Northport, NY Patch

The YouTubers Keeping Pets Entertained During the Pandemic - VICE
The YouTubers Keeping Pets Entertained During the Pandemic  VICE

Pet Improvement: Mother Nature - Newport News Times
Pet Improvement: Mother Nature  Newport News Times

Your student guide to owning pets in college - UW Badger Herald
Your student guide to owning pets in college  UW Badger Herald

5 things you need to know about getting a new pet - KNWA
5 things you need to know about getting a new pet  KNWA

Pets of the Week for Sept. 22, 2020 - WKRN News 2
Pets of the Week for Sept. 22, 2020  WKRN News 2

Do Cats Get Lonely? 2 Experts Tell Us the Surprising Truth - POPSUGAR
Do Cats Get Lonely? 2 Experts Tell Us the Surprising Truth  POPSUGAR

SoMD Pets in Need Pet of the Week: Vanessa - The Southern Maryland Chronicle
SoMD Pets in Need Pet of the Week: Vanessa  The Southern Maryland Chronicle

Lost Dog, Chocolate Lab in Cameron (Union Pines area) - Southern Pines Pilot
Lost Dog, Chocolate Lab in Cameron (Union Pines area)  Southern Pines Pilot

Animal hoarding burdens shelters with sick, neglected pets - Columbia Missourian
Animal hoarding burdens shelters with sick, neglected pets  Columbia Missourian

Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week For Baltimore County - Dundalk, MD Patch
Adorable Adoptable Pets Of The Week For Baltimore County  Dundalk, MD Patch

These household items can be poisonous to your pets - KSAT San Antonio
These household items can be poisonous to your pets  KSAT San Antonio

Remembering LA on Fire -- Evacuating Pets with Two LAAS City Shelters Closed - City Watch
Remembering LA on Fire -- Evacuating Pets with Two LAAS City Shelters Closed  City Watch

Arlington: Pets Of The Week - Meet Harrah And Virginia - Patch.com
Arlington: Pets Of The Week - Meet Harrah And Virginia  Patch.com

How L.A. Brand Staud Pivoted to Pet Portraits and Sneakers to Get Through the Pandemic - WWD
How L.A. Brand Staud Pivoted to Pet Portraits and Sneakers to Get Through the Pandemic  WWD

ANIMAL CONNECTION: Larger than life: The risk of overweight pets - Charleston Post Courier
ANIMAL CONNECTION: Larger than life: The risk of overweight pets  Charleston Post Courier

Bless family pets at St. Margaret's - Belfast - Waldo - Republican Journal - Republican Journal
Bless family pets at St. Margaret's - Belfast - Waldo - Republican Journal  Republican Journal

Top Halloween Costumes For Adults, Kids, and Pets - khak.com
Top Halloween Costumes For Adults, Kids, and Pets  khak.com

Faithful Friends Looking to Find Pets Homes Amid Coronavirus - NBC 10 Philadelphia
Faithful Friends Looking to Find Pets Homes Amid Coronavirus  NBC 10 Philadelphia

Local organization needs more foster families to care for elderly pets - KTBS
Local organization needs more foster families to care for elderly pets  KTBS

Do Cats Need Baths? An Expert Weighs In - POPSUGAR
Do Cats Need Baths? An Expert Weighs In  POPSUGAR

Making a hurricane plan for your pets - KATC Lafayette News
Making a hurricane plan for your pets  KATC Lafayette News

KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Boone - KCBD
KCBD’s Pet of the Day: Meet Boone  KCBD

Help Find Missing Pets From Creek Fire Evacuations - Sierra News Online
Help Find Missing Pets From Creek Fire Evacuations  Sierra News Online

Pet Adoption During the Pandemic: What to Consider - WebMD
Pet Adoption During the Pandemic: What to Consider  WebMD

PetCure Oncology and VMCLI Fighting Pet Cancer in Long Island, NY - GlobeNewswire
PetCure Oncology and VMCLI Fighting Pet Cancer in Long Island, NY  GlobeNewswire

Detroit woman frustrated that Michigan veterinary clinics still won’t let pet owners inside - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Detroit woman frustrated that Michigan veterinary clinics still won’t let pet owners inside  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

More than 200 pets microchipped at Cloquet drive-thru event - Pine Journal
More than 200 pets microchipped at Cloquet drive-thru event  Pine Journal

Jennie Garth rescued a dog named Fauci during COVID-19. Now, she has this message - Today.com
Jennie Garth rescued a dog named Fauci during COVID-19. Now, she has this message  Today.com

Coyote attacks on pets increasing in Draper - fox13now.com
Coyote attacks on pets increasing in Draper  fox13now.com

EPA Challenged Over Allowing Flea-Killing Pesticide on Pets - Bloomberg Law
EPA Challenged Over Allowing Flea-Killing Pesticide on Pets  Bloomberg Law

Veramaris appoints head of business development to launch omega-3 for pets - Undercurrent News
Veramaris appoints head of business development to launch omega-3 for pets  Undercurrent News

A Vet’s Opinion on Hairball Gels For Furball-Prone Cats, and Her Favorite Brand! - POPSUGAR
A Vet’s Opinion on Hairball Gels For Furball-Prone Cats, and Her Favorite Brand!  POPSUGAR

HSUS responders transport dogs and cats, bring food to pets in hurricane-hit Florida - HSUS News
HSUS responders transport dogs and cats, bring food to pets in hurricane-hit Florida  HSUS News

PET ALLIANCE GIVING DAY - WFTV Orlando
PET ALLIANCE GIVING DAY  WFTV Orlando

Philadelphia pet store with a growing Amazon presence leases South Jersey industrial building - Philadelphia Business Journal
Philadelphia pet store with a growing Amazon presence leases South Jersey industrial building  Philadelphia Business Journal

N.J. pets in need: Sept. 21, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: Sept. 21, 2020  nj.com

Photos: Pet Adoptions: SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare (9.22.20) - The Augusta Chronicle
Photos: Pet Adoptions: SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare (9.22.20)  The Augusta Chronicle

How to Handle Your Pet's Allergies - Lifehacker
How to Handle Your Pet's Allergies  Lifehacker

Pet CBD Elixir Drops - CStore Decisions - Convenience Store Decisions
Pet CBD Elixir Drops - CStore Decisions  Convenience Store Decisions

Dumb Friends League Adoptable Pets Week of: September 21 - The Know
Dumb Friends League Adoptable Pets Week of: September 21  The Know

Celebrate National Dog Week With Nulo Pet Food And A “DIY Dog Spaw Day” - KXAN.com
Celebrate National Dog Week With Nulo Pet Food And A “DIY Dog Spaw Day”  KXAN.com

You won't find a cheaper pet camera than the Petcube, now $36 - CNET
You won't find a cheaper pet camera than the Petcube, now $36  CNET

First State Animal Center to host pet food drive - Delaware State News - Delaware State News
First State Animal Center to host pet food drive - Delaware State News  Delaware State News

Tulsa Animal Welfare pets of the week - KTUL
Tulsa Animal Welfare pets of the week  KTUL

Worth of a pet? Priceless. The cost of a pet? Get your calculator. - The Oakland Press
Worth of a pet? Priceless. The cost of a pet? Get your calculator.  The Oakland Press

Pet of the Week: 'Meet Norman' - KJCT
Pet of the Week: 'Meet Norman'  KJCT

Digital Pet Care Sales Reach $27 Billion, reports Packaged Facts - Herald-Mail Media
Digital Pet Care Sales Reach $27 Billion, reports Packaged Facts  Herald-Mail Media

Pet of the Week: Romeo and Freckles - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
Pet of the Week: Romeo and Freckles  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

Petco Opens 100th In-Store Pet Hospital - Retail Leader
Petco Opens 100th In-Store Pet Hospital  Retail Leader

Pet of the week | Jordan News | swnewsmedia.com - SW News Media
Pet of the week | Jordan News | swnewsmedia.com  SW News Media

What Pet Owners Should Know About Cannabis And CBD Products - The Fresh Toast
What Pet Owners Should Know About Cannabis And CBD Products  The Fresh Toast

Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Abbey - TAPinto.net
Boulevard Veterinary Clinic Pet of the Week: Abbey  TAPinto.net

Chester County Pet Business Named to Inc. Magazine's 2020 List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies - MyChesCo
Chester County Pet Business Named to Inc. Magazine's 2020 List of America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies  MyChesCo

U.K. Gardener Harvests Potato She Swears Resembles Dog: 'I Still Keep Laughing About It' - PEOPLE
U.K. Gardener Harvests Potato She Swears Resembles Dog: 'I Still Keep Laughing About It'  PEOPLE

Plenty of piggy pets at this Philadelphia home - WWNY
Plenty of piggy pets at this Philadelphia home  WWNY

What to do if your pet gets bitten by a wild animal - Southeast Missourian
What to do if your pet gets bitten by a wild animal  Southeast Missourian

Pawsitively adorable: Meet 60 adoptable dogs and cats looking for love - Tulsa World
Pawsitively adorable: Meet 60 adoptable dogs and cats looking for love  Tulsa World

The American Pet Products Association Announces Paw-some Products to Consider When Shopping for Pets This Holiday Season - PR Web
The American Pet Products Association Announces Paw-some Products to Consider When Shopping for Pets This Holiday Season  PR Web

New Pets Add Life Video Highlights How A Pet Sees You Through The Most Challenging Of Times - PRNewswire
New Pets Add Life Video Highlights How A Pet Sees You Through The Most Challenging Of Times  PRNewswire

Siouxland Humane Society hosts 18th annual 'Pets on Parade' - KTIV
Siouxland Humane Society hosts 18th annual 'Pets on Parade'  KTIV

California Gov. Newsom Passes Two New Animal Welfare Bills, Ending Retail Pet Sales - One Green Planet
California Gov. Newsom Passes Two New Animal Welfare Bills, Ending Retail Pet Sales  One Green Planet

Prepare Your Pets for a Natural Disaster with Video from World Animal Protection - VEGWORLD Magazine
Prepare Your Pets for a Natural Disaster with Video from World Animal Protection  VEGWORLD Magazine

Meet Espresso: Wonder Paws Pet of the Week - TAPinto.net
Meet Espresso: Wonder Paws Pet of the Week  TAPinto.net

Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: Yoda, Phineas & Peanut - 9 & 10 News - 9&10 News
Adopt-A-Pet Tuesday: Yoda, Phineas & Peanut - 9 & 10 News  9&10 News

Pet Health: Smoky air especially harmful to pets - KOIN.com
Pet Health: Smoky air especially harmful to pets  KOIN.com

Get cozy with one of these 20 adoptable pets: Sept. 19-20 - SILive.com
Get cozy with one of these 20 adoptable pets: Sept. 19-20  SILive.com

Police officer’s home destroyed in blaze that killed family pets, authorities say - NJ.com
Police officer’s home destroyed in blaze that killed family pets, authorities say  NJ.com

Help Pets in Need Find a Forever Family During PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Days - PRNewswire
Help Pets in Need Find a Forever Family During PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Days  PRNewswire

How to protect pets from wildfires: tips and packing list - Today.com
How to protect pets from wildfires: tips and packing list  Today.com

Behind the growth and shifting nature of the pet industry - SmartBrief
Behind the growth and shifting nature of the pet industry  SmartBrief

All of the Cutest Celebrity Pets Who Crashed the 2020 Emmy Awards - PEOPLE
All of the Cutest Celebrity Pets Who Crashed the 2020 Emmy Awards  PEOPLE

28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love - CNN
28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love  CNN

Salem animal hospital offers free treatment for pets hurt in area wildfires - KPTV.com
Salem animal hospital offers free treatment for pets hurt in area wildfires  KPTV.com

Honey the dog up for 'America's Favorite Pet' - Mansfield News Journal
Honey the dog up for 'America's Favorite Pet'  Mansfield News Journal

Pandemic prompts surge in pet adoptions in Montgomery Co. - WTOP
Pandemic prompts surge in pet adoptions in Montgomery Co.  WTOP

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of Sept. 13, 2020 - Summit Daily News
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of Sept. 13, 2020  Summit Daily News

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