Cats and Humans – their Relationship – Dr Dawn Gould

When did cats and human beings begin to form a relationship?    It is thought this happened in North Africa more than two thousand years ago. Mutual benefit and a small striped wild cat brought them together. The cats killed the mice and rats that ate the grain and for this they found shelter, food and a certain amount of protection.  The earlier Egyptians raised cats to the status of deities. But in the 15th century women who had cats around them were perceived as witches. Black cats in 17th century England were avoided as being dangerous and for this reason a Witchcraft Act was brought into being.  Mind you today that appears to have changed as one sometimes hears people referring black cats as a symbol of luck.

Despite their independent ways, the domestic cat remains a charming and attractive animal to have in one’s home.  By way of a STARE a cat will indicate food is required then having eaten will stretch, wind its way around your ankles, find a spot to sleep and later disappear.  Where does it go?  Perhaps to a nearby neighbour for more attention and a snack, maybe simply for a walk around the area. When the day darkens home will come the wanderer.   In the meanwhile the human has had a worried time thinking of the pet crossing busy roads, coming face to face with fearsome dogs, getting trapped in a drain.

Some stories one has heard suggests that cats are also loyal creatures.  On occasion separation might occur between the animal and the owners resulting in thoughts of the cat being lost to them.   Then perhaps weeks later, who turns up but a tired, hungry, thin pet called  perhaps Ginger or Kitty,  your precious love!