Why Do Cats Sharpen Their Claws?
Okay, they're covered. Infer they live in our houses sometimes they sleep in our beds and yet in a lot of ways they're pretty much wild animals. What do you think I'm talking about. That's right. Cats lots of you have questions about these enigmatic creatures with whiskers that word enigmatic it means mysterious by the way. So we thought we'd go right to the source to get some answers for your questions. So Clooney, here's a question from Jack How do you catch per? Schmucky could you translate that for me? All right that's not gonNA work. Let's get a human who can actually answer. My name is Abigail Tucker and I've recently written a book called the line in the living room about humanity's long strange history with house cats. Wow Lyons in our living rooms think about it. The cat that curls up in your lap is related to a lion shaking its main on the Savannah in Kenya. But somewhere along their evolutionary path some wildcats decided that life was better near humans. Now, if you want to know more about evolution, go back to our previous episode, the one, we just did all about human evolution and you'll better understand how different species are related but have evolved into different kinds of animals. Most domesticated animals, farm animals like cows and pigs and pets like dogs have brains and bodies that have evolved or changed over time to make them look and act differently from their wild cousins. But Abigail Tucker says, that's not the case with cats. That's because their domestication story is a little bit different. A lot of times with animals that we domesticated. We saw things about them that we wanted like we thought we cows, we want their milk or oh sheep we want their will with cats. We didn't really do anything to attract them to us because humans ten thousand years ago when we are just transitioning from being hunter gatherers to being farmers, there wasn't anything about cats that we said we have to have that. So what happened was that cats actually kind of domesticated themselves we didn't. Bring them into our farms they came on their own, and that's because humans in these early settlements maybe ten thousand years ago had a lot of big piles of trash around and cats were kind of drawn to eating those and they came in almost more like raccoons, foxes than something like a cow that we might have intentionally raised. But over a lot of time in our company, cats began to change their brains and bodies in the same ways that other animals have changed there's and have. Become sort of more cuddly. So to speak pigs and rabbits, other domesticated animals have become cute over time with floppy ears or spots. Cats have changed to have some of those traits but not all you know you might have a black cat with some spots on it. That might look a little bit different from a wild animal or you might have a cat like the one. My mom has which looks very much like the kind of wildcat that still lives in the Near East today. And that's because you could almost say that cats are partially domesticated and that they came into our houses not because we wanted them to combat because they wanted to come. You said that there's nothing about cats that we need the same way that we need milk or we need wall or we want those things except I. Guess these days we would say the thing that we want from our cat is love and we don't always get it. Some cats don't seem to like people very much. That's a really good point. Yes I think one of the secrets about cats is that even though they're not any more closely related to humans than an animal like say a pig as and certainly they're not as close to us as a monkey as but. Cats have faces that look a lot like human faces for reasons that have to do with the way that cats hunt they have round faces because they have these really short jaws 'cause they're ambush predators and they deliver like a really hard killing bite. When they catch things, they have small noses because they're not sent predators like dogs falling over long distances and most important they've got these big round is planted right in the middle of their faces new just kind of how our is our two and. Cats have is like that for different reasons they have is like that because they need good depth perception so they can pounce on things from their hiding places, but this mixture of facial features that cats have looked a lot like the way humans look and actually a lot the way human kids luck and that's something I think that tends to make people put human emotions onto cats the fact that they really resemble us.