Cat. Its natural history

Naturaleza e historia de los gatos
"The origin of the domestic cat (Felis domestica) is a subject about which there has been much conjecture and scientific discussion, but without any positive issue. Very long before the cat was kept in this country as a domesticated animal it was possessed by the ancient Egyptians in a tame state, and was, moreover, held in reverence by that remarkable and superstitious[Pg 2] people, being regarded sacred to the goddess Pasht. At death the body was embalmed with devout care, and specimens of cat mummies may be seen in the British Museum. The Egyptian cat (Felis maniculata) may, however, be regarded as probably the original source of our familiar puss. This wild cat is of a sandy-grey or tawny colour, and with more or less indistinct markings of the tabby character. It is of about ordinary size; the tail is in form somewhat like that of most of our cats, and the ears are largish and pointed in a slightly lynx-like fashion. It is supposed that domesticated animals spread from Egypt with the tide of civilization westward. I may here notice that, unlike the dog, the cat has[Pg 3] never been tamed by the savage races of mankind. But by the civilized, or even the semi-civilized, peoples of the world the cat is at the present day more or less valued as a useful mouser or as a cherished household pet. It is remarkable that at a time when the wild cat (Felis catus) was very abundant in England, the house-cat was unknown. It was evidently an animal of foreign importation, and so highly valued as a mouser as to have been protected by royal statute. The earliest record of the tame cat in this country is as remote as A.D. 948. Prince Howel Dda, or Howel the Good, enforced the very just but primitive fine of a milch ewe, its fleece and lamb, or as much wheat from the destroyer[Pg 4] or robber of a cat at the Royal granary as would cover it to the tip of the tail, the animal being suspended by that member, with the head only touching the ground."
RULE, Philip M. The Cat. Its Natural History; Domestic Varieties; Management and Treatment. London, 1887.
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Sobre Silvia Pato

Autora de las novelas «Las nueve piedras» y «El Libro del Único Camino». Redactora de contenidos en diversos medios digitales.

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