Probably the desert wildcats worked their way through Egypt and into the Middle East, Europe and Asia as humans formed settlements approximately 10,000 years ago.
When the agricultural societies stored food supplies, they attracted mice and rats. Cats followed the rodent pests and by reducing the rodent population were welcome companions in the early communities.
Early cat lovers selected the cutest and friendliest kittens in litters for decades, resulting in today's custom designed beautiful domestic cat.
By the Middle Ages, the domestic version of the African desert wildcat was well established in the British Isles, where it was called the "tiger cat." As international trade became common, it was noticed that the silk imported from Baghdad had a similar striped pattern similar to the tiger cat coat. The name of this silk was "atabi," and somewhere along the line "tiger cat" became the "tabby cat" as a derivation of atabi.
Law of Cat Thermodynamics
Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.
The shorthair tabby cat came to North America with early settlers from Europe on ships. These brave cats earned their passage by hunting and killing the ships' rats. "Working cats" helped protect the stored food and survived well with the early pioneers. Those clever and friendly cats eventually established themselves as the North American Shorthair Cat.
In the United States, cats are the most popular house pet. It is estimated that there are 90 million domesticated cats eating, playing, and sleeping in 34 percent of U.S. homes.
Early in the 20th century, breeds new to North America -- such as longhairs and Siamese cats -- were imported to the United States and interbred with native shorthaired tabby cats. The kittens had varied coat lengths and color, body styles, and temperament.
They range from the tabby to the calico and many colors in between. Tabby and calico are color names and not a breed name.
All breeds of domestic cats carry the tabby gene, and the tabby is the most common cat pattern in the wild. The leopard is a spotted tabby, the tiger is a striped tabby, and the lion is a tabby agouti. The tabby pattern is especially useful as camouflage in the grass or branches of leafed trees. The tabby pattern can be black, fawn, red, blue, chocolate, cream, and many other colors and shades.
The various white patches are frequently found in much the same place on many tabbies. These white patches never show any of the tabby patterns. However, all other colored patches on all domestic cats do contain some patterning because all cats carry the original tabby pattern gene.
These head markings are typical for all tabbies. The dark lines running from the eyes toward the back are called the 'tabby mask'. Besides stripped tabbies (called 'mackerel', like the fish.) there are blotched tabbies, spotted tabbies, and ticked tabbies.
Law of Obedience Resistance
A cat's resistance varies in proportion to a human's desire for her to do something.
© Copyright 2009 by Lawrence Rodrigues
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