The relationship between cats and the human race

Elvis Elvis

There are 7.6 million cats in Britain alone, and in 1988 it was announced that cats had for the first time had overtaken dogs as Britain’s favourite pets. The possibility reflects on the turn of events in a much busier turn of the century, that cats are easier to look after and less demanding of time than dogs. Whatever the reason, today’s world reflects that cats are the more favoured pets.

It is always interesting to know more and more about our pets, and knowing how much we find out about our felines, we never seem to be surprised by another of their antics. They are always surprising us, and I am sure that that is one of their endearing characteristics that we find about the cat – that we never quite know our cats in the same way that we know our dogs or our best friends.

As Sir Walter Scott once wrote: Cats are a mysterious kind of folk. There is more passing in their minds than we are aware of.

One in five British and North American homes have at least one cat as a member of their family. There are more than six million pet cats in Britain and five times the number in the United Sates alone. North Americas have for some time owned more cats than dogs, and in 1988 it was announced that in Britain , to, cats had taken the lead in house hold pets. In some other countries, cat fellowship is even more wide spread. In France and Austria, for example, the proportion is nearer one in every three households.

The relationship between cats and the human race

Cats make rewarding and loving pets. While in many ways they are solitary creatures, often seeming to prefer their own company, what is certain, is that cats seem to need and value companionship.

Their early months as kittens are full of strongly bonding experiences and this need for similar bonding persists in the domestic cat

Cats owe their friendship with humans to two qualities. Firstly, they are opportunists which drove them to attach themselves to human settlements in the first place. You have only to watch a cat on the prowl, even a well fed one, to see how its senses are alert to anything that may be of advantage – a scuttling mouse, a new birds nest, some new feature in the garden that could be an advantage point, or in the house.

Second, cats are adaptable which has allowed them to come to terms with domestic life and all the graduations between being a cat in the wild, and a cat by the heath.

Cats have adapted as easily to shipboard life – it was only in 1975 that, on hearth grounds, cats were band from British navel ships at sea – as to life in a new colony ( as was the Mayflower act and its successors) or even a continuant where cats where cats were previously unknown, as was the case of the settlers cats taken to Australia.

Indoors or Outdoors, although they are best suited to a combined indoor and outdoor style of life, house bound cats can live perfectly contented lives provided they have plenty of companionship, and a well balanced diet, affection, and opportunities to exercise their chasing and climbing skills. The down side of keeping a cat indoors is that if it should escape it will be less able to cope with the hazards of the outside world, especially road traffic, and it may have to fight its way into a territory occupied by other cats.

Cats always Preserve their own dignity and reserve, unlike dogs, are not particularly eager to please their owners. They can rarely be taught to do tricks, not because they are less intelligent than dogs, but because they simply do not see the point. If they want to master a particular skill, stretching up to operate a door latch to let themselves in out of the cold, they will do so because the reward is immense and personal. Whether their owner thinks it is quite or clever is irrelevant. Play is of course a different matter, and even quite elderly cats will enjoy a hunting game with a catnip mouse or a similar toy.

The striking characteristics of cats is how, having experienced the human world, the have added their understanding of it to their instincts for survival. A lost dog will tend to roam until it collapses of exhaustion.

Whereas long before crisis is reached, a lost cat will seek the source of warmth is has learned is available – human habitation. Many a stray or lost cat has found a new home simply by persistence in appealing to the good nature of a welcoming household, or even a reluctant one which nevertheless could not turn away a needy cat.

Some cats, indeed, take this confidence in finding a comfortable billet to extremes, and if they are upset at home home take off in the certainty there is grass just as green on the other side of the hill.

Although cats are creatures or routine, and therefore prefer things to go on as they have known them, they do not exhibit faithfulness in the canine sense. This is not to say that they do not love, or something like love, their owner or favoured members of the family. Samuel Johnson’s cat Hodge, probably gained as much pleasure from the attentions of Dr Johnson as the doctor did from the attentions of Hodge. Perhaps the truth is that cats live for the moment and dogs live for the future. The future for a cat might be uncertain. However placid and confident a cat might seem, it is never far Away from the realities of the wild world where it might have to fight its corner against rival cats and find its own food and secure sleeping place.

Whatever way you might interpret it, the cat is a noble and graceful companion that we know and love.