Let’s face it: through history, you hoomans have made up numerous myths about cats.
You’ve been doing it all along in virtually every culture and society where we were domesticated.
In some instances, some hooman cultures modified myths and superstitions about cats from other hooman groups.
Which usually tended to lead to even more negative ideas about our typical behavior.
But don’t worry hooman, you can redeem all your past judgement mistakes.
Through the history of the cat, you can grow perspective on your feline companions.
Here’s in detail the history of the cat, a complete guide to the cat hooman relationship through the ages, from a cat’s perspective:
EARLY CAT DOMESTICATION
We think what happened is that the cats sort of domesticated themselves.Carlos Driscoll , on a study on cats published in the research journal Science
Unlike any other hooman domesticated animal, we cats actually choose to be involved with people.
We made a long way inside people’s hearts. Hoomans obviously kept nearby only the most docile catos, thus beginning our domestication.
Dogos were first
During a very long period of olde times, you hoomans also relied on hunting to get the foods. So you befriended dogos, fellow herd hunters, and started domesticating and loving them.
This went on and on for ages, until at some point hoomans started to settle down, plant food, and keep extra foodies for the winter. Then RATS started to become a problem.
It’s then when us catos entered the game, we kept people’s extra food with no mices whatsoever. Then, you befriended us for the first time.
It was long after befriending dogos, so that’s why they obviously appear more friendly to hoomans than us catos. They come from a longer time of friendship. Dogos are ages ahead us.
Cat ancestors were drawn to villages and hooman camps, leaving behind their forest cat condos, due to mainly one reason: the RATS and associates.
The number of rodents and other small prey animals that were attracted to human dwellings was notorious.
In other words, hoomans attracted food. We like food. Once people understood how we controlled the RATS, they started to like us.
Our wild cat ancestors would gradually become more relaxed and calm around hoomans, and kittens born in the villages would be normalized to hooman contact. Or at least, to hooman presence. The thing was gradual.
Cyprus: THE ORIGIN OF THE HISTORY OF THE CAT
There are many different archeological indications that the hooman-cat relationship has been ongoing for lotz of years.
In a Mediterranean Island with no known native felidaes, hoomans digged up in
the site of Shillourokambos . They found skeletons of catos, mices and hoomans all in the same area. The last one, found in 2004, and dated from like 9,500 years ago from now.
The mice may have got to that island by hiding in food and people’s stuff. But the only way cats would have been on the island is if they were brought there by hooman settlers. We wouldn’t sneak into one of your ridiculous boats on purpose.
Neolithic hoomans also brought other wild animals to islands, like foxes. But what made the scientists put a new date for the taming of the cat is finding a hooman and a cato buried together.
It is highly likely that Cyprus would have quickly been overrun with RATS if those neolithic guys haven’t brought us anyway. But that shared tomb indicates how early cats started a close relationship with hoomans.
The finding pushed the start of the history of the cat a bit earlier than first thought. Until then, the common knowledge was that the first hoomans to domesticate cats were the egyptians, like 4000 to 7000 years ago.
A genetic assessment carried in 2007 adds years to our relationship, but the solid conclusion is: we were wild and first befriended the neolithic hoomans in the Near East, because they be keeping foodies.
CATS IN THE Ancient world
Catos started to gather around civilized hoomans that kept food and trash and had RATS around.
The early hooman civilizations in the history of the cat originated in the ancient Near East, and then expanded forever around the world from there.
THE CAT IN ANCIENT EGYPT
Likely, the first hooman culture to domesticate and move us indoors to the position of companions was the Egyptians.
This process began roughly 4000 years ago, with the Egyptian farmers and merchants actually feeding my ancestors to keep them close by, controlling the RATS and snakes population in food storage areas and houses.
From this humble start, we soon reached a peak of importance in the Egyptian culture. We were worshiped as the representation of the god of the hunt and of the goddess of fertility.
Egyptians were good hoomans, with sensitivity and stuff.
Everybody should learn from them. We cats may not be submissive to hoomans because we’re terribly subject to our instincts: hunt food & produce puss.
We then had ABSOLUTE free movement through the hooman houses. There was even a sacred burial site, the Temple at Bubastis, where our ancestors were mummified and preserved as per the custom at the time.
The death of a cat in a hooman family sent the whole household into mourning. Laws forbidding the killing of cats by punishment of hooman death were in place for many hundreds of years. It was amazing.
But every hooman culture seems to arrive to it’s ethical decadence for some reason. During the Late Period, offering cat mummies to the gods became a business, and catos were bred to supply the demand.
THE CAT IN ANCIENT GREECE AND ROME
Greeks and Romans used to have weasels to take care of the RATS, but time made clear we outperform weasels. On everything.
In the year 31 BC, Egypt became a province of the Roman Empire.
Cats were then fully introduced into Roman life, carrying with them the same cult from the Egyptians. Having a cato around at home meant good luck, then.
From there was when we expanded to Europe, round the fourth century.
THE CAT IN ANCIENT SCANDINAVIA
Probably some catos were hanging around Roman Britannia when the Vikings first saw us.
They must’ve thought we sick as fuck, because we earned a position in their culture quite fast. We warded viking ships from RATS and viking forests from trolls. We were called skogkatt.
Viking brides received kitties so they could have a complete household right away. Freya, the viking goddess of love and stuff, was known for riding a cart drawn by catos.
But skogkatt scarfs were also a thing then. As the furrrr we evolved to have up there in the cold was so cuddly, sum vikings also breeded us to wear our skins.
THE CAT IN ANCIENT ASIA
From the Ancient Near East we met hoomans from surrounding areas, including the Buddhists from India. We bonded with those silent, calm guys since day 0.
When they decided to spread Buddhism through the silk road, they brought catos with them.
Catos were also boarded in ships from China to Japan to protect Buddhist scriptures from being eaten by RATS.
CATS IN THE MIDDLE AGES
During the middle Ages in Europe, our fate changed radically.
The Israelites wrote a book about a guy called Jesus that was super influential. Those guys Israelites were once under the power of Egyptian hoomans, so they hated them. And they hated everything the Egyptians liked.
So we were out of the book. Which would, with time, carry negative consequences as the followers of that guy in such book started to spread through the Roman Empire and to the rest of the Ancient World after it’s fall.
CATS AND WITCHCRAFT
As catos were left out of the bible, Christian worshippers started relating them with bad stuff. Black magic, witches, the forces of evil, you name it.
And those negative thoughts took over Europe especially around the fourteen hundreds (or the Middle Ages) onward.
We were linked with evil stuff and we were objects of real bad superstitions.
Some of them continued until early independent america, with it’s deadly consequences for us.
Some of those have made it through until now. People still believe we bring bad luck, or that we are twisted and evil. It’s because of that cultural imprint.
We are savage creatures, you hoomans are bags of ideology and judgement and mixed feelings. Cats only want it ez on us.
But hooman history had more surprises to come for catos.
WITCH HUNT AND CAT SLAUGHTERING
The Christian church began a huge campaign to hunt witches and cats. Devil-fearing christians believed we were either evil, or the devil’s pet.
During this time, they killed my fellow cats almost to the point of extinction.
People tracked us down, tortured us and then killed us, often along with our cato and hooman family.
Along with slaughtering cats almost to the point of extinction, the church accused many innocent hoomans of bullshit.
In those times, simply living with a cato, or helping an injured kittie in the street, was cause enough to torture or kill a person.
Church hoomans tortured and burned cato friend hoomans alive at the stake.
When this killing wave came to an end in Europe around the 18th century, it somehow flourished again in some places of the recently independent America, like the Salem Trials. But those extended during a shorter period of time in history.
As a result of cat slaughtering: In Europe, the number of disease-carrying-RATS increased as the cato population decreased.
Which contributed to an extraordinary extent to epidemics, and to the spread of plagues throughout Europe. LOL hoomans.
MODERN HISTORY OF THE CAT
Around the late 15th century, hoomans kinda realized how stupid they were treating catos like shit and killing them for years. Renaissance, humanism and industrialization also brought catos back into favor.
We became a hooman loved companion once again, and a controller of RATS and other rodents on ground and across the seven seas.
CATS DURING THE COLONIAL ERA
When Christopher Columbus first visited America, brought cats with him and the pioneers on their boats.
From Europe, felines were often boarded on boats to the Americas. We were also boarded on the first ships from Europe to the weird, distant lands of Oceania.
We were on board the Mayflower, and with the pioneers at Jamestown.
When most of those catos met safe ground again, they runned from the boats to the new land.
This is likely how the American Shorthair bros appeared in the cato game.
Because of our undeniable beauty and our pest control skills, we were used as items of trade between different cultures. That actually started on Ancient times, and kickstarted our expansion through the world.
But during modern times, the hooman market became more and more sophisticated. Hooman power was slowly transferred to the markets, thus making their day to day decisions more and more subject to the markets, and less to progress and survival.
It’s important to note how we were originally only found as pets and companions of only the wealthiest of merchants. Those guys could exert more power on us because they managed to become our direct font of food.
Hoomans from lower classes, though, started to domesticate catos a lot later. We were there taking care of their RATS, and they didn’t have spare foods to give us. So we were offering a service, thus not obeying or showing interest.
Ed Lowe (1920-1995), a hooman from America, came up with modern cat litter in 1947. That would mark the next step on cato domestication.
Until then, some hoomans made indoor catos poop into ashes or sand. But most of us just lived outside because that shit was gross, honestly.
Therefore, before that invention, catos used to take all their serious businesses outside the hooman houses.
Ed is often credited for creating the need of cat litter, and not for what he did indeed contribute to the cato-hooman relationship.
It’s one big sign of the hooman market-targeted cultural point of view.
After him, lots of other hoomans also started producing cat litter, giving catos a safe space inside people’s houses.
Catos and all of our surrounding parafernalia has become an evergreen market since the invention of cat litter, branching into a lot of products created specifically to make cats comfortable and happy around hoomans.
THE MODERN CAT MARKET
People don’t usually have rats around them anymore. We’re still hard to tame, thus socially inept, in some cases. So nowadays we don’t look useful at all at first sight.
Therefore, buying cat litter to keep us inside is a marketing strategy, some hoomans think. What a genius, that guy, for making people buy that thing for the comfort of those wild beasts.
But from a cat perspective, things are different. Hoomans first started liking us because we cute and kill pests. Now pests may not be a problem anymore, but you’ve been flirting with us for ages.
You still love us, even if the first function we came to accomplish for you is obsolete in most modern houses.
So the natural way of keeping a good evolutive relationship with cats is to spoil and accommodate them.
I would like to claim the modern cat market as a beautiful use of hooman technology for the comfort of cats.
Sharing our intimate spaces with hoomans has a bonding effect for us. But this step forward started to take place only about 70 years ago, so our natural feral instincts still remain.
The number of catos simply increased in many port and inland cities until they became a nuisance to the hooman population. You loved us, then you hated us.
I must recognize, though, today most hooman cities worldwide still have an ongoing problem with huge populations of catos.
And with wild or feral bros that live within the city limits.
We can’t help but spread ourselves around if no one helps us help it.
That is only necessary because of the absence of predators. So either you bring eagles to the cities, either you start nurturing all cats around town.
In my humble cat opinion, I’d rather live a long, stress-free life, than a life with hormones, and stress, and the risk of getting brutally killed by an eagle.
Hoomans didn’t have enough with altering the cat’s life-circle. They also started altering our genes and stuff.
Selective breeding to produce different looking kinds of catos became popular a lot later than with dogos, though. That is why there’s super big dogos, and super small dogos. But catos we are all kind of the same.
Hoomans used dogos for a lot of different purposes since the beginning of time. Thus, through history, dogs were bred in different sizes and functions.
But the only real use catos have for hoomans since the very beginning is chasing RATS and be cool to hang around. And to date, we still do both functions perfectly with our standard shape.
This is why now the great majority of the domestic cats on earth are not purebreds. Only about 5% of the total domestic population is a recognized breed.
We are breeded for beauty and conservation purposes. Hoomans try to preserve specific characteristics some cats develop. But we are still wild and develop our own cool stuff without hooman interaction.
Hoomans nowadays still usually lump the majority of our population into two categories: domestic shorthair and domestic longhair. This big majority of the cat population is known familiarly as moggies*.
*We won’t accept despective uses of the m word.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We been having an abrupt relationship for thousand of years. But cats and hoomans still attract each other with a special kind of magick.
We cats proudly keep our wild side while sharing our lives with the extremely sophisticated and neurotic hoomans.
People tends to portray us as mysterious, mischievous and self centered.
Is funny how us catos, we could think exactly the same about hoomans.