Tuesday, June 19, 2018

"Why Humans Are Obsessed with Cats" (they domesticated themselves)

Here’s a Facebook shortWhy Humans Are Obsessed with Cats” (6 minutes).

The domestic cat domesticated itself about 4000 years ago, self-selecting to be welcome around humans. It seems to be the only animal that can survive on its own in the wild and yet invite itself into a human home, and remember every home it has ever been in.

The short is based on the book “The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World” (2016, Abigail Tucker).

Some slightly larger wildcats, like the bobcat, cannot legally be kept as pets and safely live in a home, but will befriend humans and return to homes where they have been fed, even days later after hunting miles away.  Cats (apart from cetaceans) may represent the apex of mammalian evolution (you could include bears) without developing bipedalism, which gives primates the ability to use their hands to make tools and becomes an enormous advantage, giving reason for a larger brain to develop.

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