The origin of cats

There was a study done by some UC Davis scientists wanting to learn more about the origin of cats. So they swabbed about 11,00 cats, I think it was, for their DNA.

I had a funny image of hundreds of scientists in lab coats with Q-tips and zip lock bags traveling to remote locations all over the globe, taking a quick swab of random cats’ cheek cells and getting on the plane to take their samples back to the lab. But hey, I’m not a scientist and of course it was all done through the mail. 

But the DNA results were interesting because they discovered that the cradle of human civilization,  appropriately named ‘The Fertile Crescent’, is also the origin of the domesticated cat.

Cats became domesticated about the same time that people did apparently. When we went from being nomadic beings and settled down, raising and storing crops and grains, cats quickly discovered that those storage units harbored their favorite cuisine. Humans realized what a great service cats provided and a mutual bond was struck.

Today most cat owners don’t rely on their cats to keep the mice out of their grain cellars (although we do depend on Marco and Polo to keep the rodents at bay here at our country ‘estate’).

So there’s some magnetic bond between humans and cats, sort of a mutual respect it seems, that obviously doesn’t depend on a work ratio factor. All they have to do is look cute, which is most of the time, and we feel better. Pet a cat and your blood pressure goes down. If he purrs, then you’ve soaked up a little of his nirvana.  Instant stress relief.

Maybe we love cats because they never worry about anything. They are truly an inspiration in the art of relaxation.

 Here’s a link to something more scientific. Cats’ Family Tree Rooted in Fertile Crescent