Monday, September 2, 2013
Michael Ortiz - symbiosis - on cats and humans
About 12,000 years ago, back when agricultural societies began to really take off, humans and cats began to benefit from one another. While dogs had long since been domesticated for their hunting skill, cats had mostly remained wild, useless animals for the human race. It was not until we had advanced enough to store an excess of grain from our crops that cats entered the scene. Since the grain from the crops began to attract mice, it was only a matter of time before the nearby wild cats discovered perfect hunting grounds in storehouses.
It was a win-win. Humans gained pest control, and cats a quick meal.
It was after this that cats began to domesticate themselves. Cats that simply wandered in began to shape themselves to their new environment. Over time, people began to favor cats with more docile traits, and cats adapted accordingly.
In modern times, though cats are still used for pest control, their uses are becoming more and more similar to that of dogs. They can be used for therapy, ranging in treatment for depression to PTSD, or even as companion animals for other pets.
All and all, cats have become the US’s most favored pet, and it’s no wonder. While cats may not be used for something practical, sometimes, it’s just nice to have something cute around to make your day. And in return, they get a free meal! So in a way, everyone benefits.
General information cited from: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/brief_cats.html