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Why Do Cats Hang Around Us?

By David Brown

(Hint: They Can’t Open Cans) Genetic Research Suggests Felines ‘Domesticated Themselves’. Your cat decided to live with you, not the other way around. The sad truth is, it may not be a final decision. But don’t take this feline diffidence personally. It runs in the family. And it goes back a long way — about 12,000 years, actually. Those are among the inescapable conclusions of a genetic study of the origins of the domestic cat, being published today in the journal Science.

The findings, drawn from an analysis of nearly 1,000 cats around the world, suggest that the ancestors of today’s tabbies, Persians and Siamese wandered into Near Eastern settlements at the dawn of agriculture. They were looking for food, not friendship. They found what they were seeking in the form of rodents feeding on stored grain. They stayed for 12 millennia, although not without wandering off now and again to consort with their wild cousins.

Read the original article at: The Washington Post

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