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The History Of Cats

Elvis Elvis

The cat is thought to have come from the Miacis and then the modern cat worlds earliest origins are reputed to be in the African Wild Cat and these descendants have been roaming and hunting the planet for some 40,000 years. For the last 5000 years or so they have become close companions to humans, and the Egyptians revered and worshipped them according them with God status and devotion. They became sacred, and their excellent hunting skills were used to protect grain stores from rodents. Some 3000 years ago, traders took their cats along with them to Europe and the Far East where they again dominated and became part of the culture. The Romans introduced them to Great Britain to also protect grain and they helped contain the Bubonic Plague in the 1300’s by hunting and killing the disease ridden rats.

History wasn’t kind to the cat in the Middle Ages when they were linked to magic, sorcery, witchcraft and the devil. Pope Gregory IX proclaimed them to be diabolical creatures and they, along with their owners were accused and executed as witches. So strong was this crusade of witch hunts against the cat that they very nearly perished from Europe as they were hunted own and killed. Today the poor old Black Cat has been unfairly linked with superstition, bad luck and evil ever since.

The History Of Cats

Superstitions abound and did you know that fisherman’s wives believed that keeping a black cat in the home was supposed to ensure that your husband would always return home from the sea. In Japan the Mi-Ki, or the tri-colored cat, has been taken to sea by Japanese sailors on their ships to bring good luck, that’s why so many ships also have a ship’s cat. Having been in the Merchant Marine for a period this is very true.

Like all travelers the cat also came to America around 1749 (and there are an estimated 55 million of them now) as well in Australia and other colonial settlements. Worldwide new breeds started to appear and cat shows also started. Today they are our closest companions, while some are still “employed” on mouse control duties.