If we falter

Cats will become the dominant species on this planet. My cousin first pointed this out to me: they're smart, they're everywhere, and they mutate more than most animals. And don't forget the three-way symbiosis they've managed through toxoplasma!

And according to the Science Times, all 600 million of cats in the world (why am I surprised that there are more humans in Europe than cats in the world?) are descended from five (5) Near Eastern female wildcats who, about 10,000 years ago, opted for the easy vermin-pickin's around human granaries.

Until recently the cat was commonly believed to have been domesticated in ancient Egypt, where it was a cult animal. But three years ago a group of French archaeologists led by Jean-Denis Vigne discovered the remains of an 8-month-old cat buried with its human owner at a Neolithic site in Cyprus. The Mediterranean island was settled by farmers from Turkey who brought their domesticated animals with them, presumably including cats, because there is no evidence of native wildcats in Cyprus.

The date of the burial far precedes Egyptian civilization. Together with the new genetic evidence, it places the domestication of the cat in a different context, the beginnings of agriculture in the Near East, and probably in the villages of the Fertile Crescent, the belt of land that stretches up through the countries of the eastern Mediterranean and down through what is now Iraq.

Buried with kitty, huh? Can someone please also date back the toxoplasma? But the most interesting and unique part of cat evolution is that they didn't get chosen by humans to act as pest control -- let alone as companions -- that they weren't domesticated by force or even coercion, that they domesticated themselves, by choice.

And that should sound familiar to every cat owner in the world!

And if we futch up, they are waiting in the wings to fill our niche and eat our tuna!

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