This is why cats need nine lives
14 Mayo 2018 13:05
We say that cats have nine lives, and that's not by chance — they're among the luckiest and most acrobatic animals in the world. This video shows a bold feline carrying what appears to be a huge (for its size) pillow in its mouth. The little acrobat is sizing up the gap between the high vantage point on which it's standing — the top of a cupboard — and the lower table on which it wants to land.
Sometimes, even cats fail at these stunts, so I wouldn't blame you if you thought that the poor animal had miscalculated its chances and would end up on the floor, face-first. However, continuing the trend of the little felines surprising us with their skill and luck, the cat not only manages to land on the table, but it smoothly does so on the pillow itself! Then, the little guy lounges in his new chill-out spot, completely unimpressed by its own achievement.
Our special relationship with cats is among the oldest inter-species bonds in the history of humanity. Cats were considered sacred in ancient Egypt, but the earliest evidence of the domestication of cats did not take place there. Egyptian paintings showing domesticated cats date back 3,600 years but, in 2004, archeologists unearthed the remains of a cat and a human that were buried together in the ancient site of Shillourokambos, in the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.
Researchers estimate this grave site to be around 9,500 years old, a far more ancient find compared to the evidence discovered in Egypt. The remains of this ancient cat are bigger than today's species, with their physiology being closer than that of the larger African wildcat.
A recent study on feline domestication says that these animals lived with humans even before they were officially domesticated. During this period of thousands of years, the cats' genetic code did not change much from that of wildcats, except for adopting the tabby cat's signature dots and stripes.
Evidence suggests that ancient cats developed a mutually beneficial relationship with the Fertile Crescent's farming communities 8,000 years ago. The cats there would act as rodent hunters and chasing after mice and rat populations brought them close to human communities.
Today, we no longer officially perceive cats as sacred, but it is not an exaggeration that many humans still unofficially think that. And it's not a one-way street: in the words of British fantasy author Terry Pratchett, 'In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this.'