Sunday Ancestral Kitty Blogging
Dogs have owners. Cats have staffs.The big news in catdom is that scientists have traced back all of the world's 600 million house cats to a few females of a wild subspecies that wandered into a village of early human settlers in the Near East, liked what they saw and stuck around. (No, it wasn't Ohio).-- Somebody's Uncle
This came as something of a shock because the ancestors of these wild cats such as the Southern African species in the top photo couldn't be more different than the mighty Kimba bottom photo), one of the two kitties here at Kiko's House.Others aren't buying the notion posited by scientists that those wild females ended up hanging out in that village because they were protected from their predators and there were plenty of rats for them to feast on.
Where the wild cat is a ferocious hunter, Kimba can barely keep up with moths and butterflies. The only wild game that he has bagged is the occasional shrew, who very much terrified but alive, is presented to the DF&C, who thanks him and returns the poor little critter to the outdoors.
Their explanation is quite simple:
Cats can't open cans. Why else would they cozy up to humans?Rhapsodizes the New York Times about the research:
"This new genetic evidence resolves the puzzle of cat remains turning up in Cyprus before the rise of the Egyptian civilizations that were supposed to have domesticated the cat.
"The wild subspecies that gave up their DNA for these tests still exist, though barely. That is one of the painful ironies of domestication. Creatures who come in from the wild eventually prosper — domestic cats number, after all, in the hundreds of millions — while those who don’t almost inevitably fall upon hard times.
"And that, too, is one of the paradoxes of understanding domestication. We cannot know exactly what we have made our own — whether it is animal or vegetable — unless we know the wild state in which it originated. Which is another way of saying that without wildness, we have no way of knowing who we are either."