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History of Cats

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21-Jun-2009 03:30 p.m.

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While the status of cats in our present day society does not match the worship and reverence showered upon them in Ancient Egypt, they are probably our best loved domestic pets today

Cats fell from favour in the middle ages when they were regarded merely as vermin killers and used on ships to keep down the rat populations which were identified as carriers of the “Black Plague” during the time of the Crusades.

Today, on many farms cats, while still considered fondly as pets, are expected to live mainly outside and keep down the population of rats and mice.

During the middle era of the middle ages cats were seen by the churches as objects of superstition. They were feared, regarded as evil and closely associated with witchcraft. Consequently, thousands were hunted and destroyed.

Now-a-days many urban households have one or more cats as family pets. They are seen by some as convenient and easy to manage because of their relative independence and fastidious cleanliness. Cat owners; though pamper their cats to a greater or lesser degree. This is shown by the huge amount of money spent on cat food, accessories and toys. The family cat is generally loved by all members as a neutral object of affection in spite of other stresses and tensions.

Many elderly people depend on their cats for company and to improve their health and wellbeing. It is thought that stroking and petting a cat will lower the blood pressure and heart rate and, therefore, sooth the owner.

This has been borne out by a lady whose heart specialist recommended that she should get a pet cat. She re-homed a little stray kitten and told me, some weeks later, that had been taken off her heart medication!

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