Many people today have pets for pleasure and companionship. Nearly any animal can be a pet, such as hamsters, rabbits, birds, fish, frogs, horses, and even cats and dogs. Besides being a loving companion, pets serve many other purposes as in protecting homes, destroying vermin, and providing a means of transportation. The elderly and the childless couples can rely on a pet as an emotional outlet. In addition, pets can be kept for their beauty, rarity, or for the beautiful sounds that birds can make. Today pets are usually purchased from breeders, pet shops, or animal shelters rather then individually captured and tamed. All pets were made domestic, including cats.
Cats are the second most popular pets in the world at this time. Of the two most popular pets, cats are the easiest to maintain and do not need to be taken out for exercise. Being small means cats are not big eaters and only have to eat one or two times a day. Cats can play with string, balls, and anything that may fascinate them. On the other hand, cats can be your companion while you sleep, read a book, or watch television. The life of a cat can be very interesting if you are willing to spend time with them and learn their personality. Every cat has its own personality. Cats can live to be 15 years old, and in that time a cat owner can find that a cat is a man\'s best friend. The origins of a cat can be very interesting, considering that the cat first began its life with the early Egyptians and other cultures. The domestic cat, the most popular cat of the cat family, is a very laid back cat, sleeping most of the day. Other types of cats like the tiger, lion, and the cheetah are some of the fiercest animals in the wild. Looking back in history, and comparing the earlier cats to modern day cats, we discover that today\'s cats do not eat to live, but live to eat.
Where did cats come from? Cats were not around when dinosaurs existed, after they disappeared, hoofed animals evolved and led to saber-toothed cats (Rutherford 8). There are many additional subdivisions of cats in the world today. Pseudaulurus, the first true catlike animal, lived about 20 million years ago and roamed the forests of Europe and North America hunting for small mammals and birds (Brown 1147). Eventually, more cats began revealing themselves to the world and began living a dominant life. Two animals become similar when they are exposed to the same food sources and environment conditions (Rutherford 10). Many cats have approximately the same traits as each other, but the cheetah and the saber-tooths are completely opposite. The cheetah is the cat furthest from the saber-tooth\'s in having small canines to allow for the larger nasal opening that enables it to increase its air intake during a high speed chase (Tabor 10). There is not much evidence that shows how far cats date back that we know about. The earliest known remains of a leopard were found in Siwalik Mountains of India and date from about 1.5 million years ago (Brown 1148). Saber-toothed cats were one of the longest existing cats on earth. Some saber-toothed cats were still around only 13,000 years ago, so they survived as a subfamily for nearly 34 million years (Tabor 10). Panthers, Lynxes, leopards and other wild cats existed over 10,000 year ago (Rutherford 11). The transition of cats took place over a period of 50 million years; longer than any human has been around. Cats are truly one of the oldest animals still on this earth.
The Egyptians were the first to realize the importance of cats. Cats began teaming with people about 2,000 BC in Egypt (Cats 1). There is evidence that points to small wild feline species having been tamed up to 8,000 years ago. Egyptian Pharaohs were the first to tame cheetahs, and from 1500 BC onwards, cheetahs and dogs were their hunting animals (Rutherford 15). Early Egyptian art verifies that cats were honored as female deity (Cats 1). Much of the Egyptian art appears to us as paintings on the inside of tombs, or wooden carvings of figures of