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Monday, December 30, 2019

Domestic Cats Mostly Unchanged for 2000 Years

It is interesting to note that those statues and paintings of cats in ancient Egypt depict animals that are essentially the same today. Actually, that may not be entirely accurate. For quite a spell, cats were sacred to ancient Egyptians (and modern cats seem to retain that knowledge), and the artwork varied.


The cat kind early in creation would have had a tremendous amount of genetic information. It may seem strange that domestic cats seem unchanged from ancient Egyptian times.
African Wildcat (Felis lybica) cropped from a picture by Bernard Dupont at Flickr (CC by-SA 2.0)
Egyptians wanted their diminutive deities to match up with some of the art for the Bast (also known as Bastet) goddess, so they commenced to domesticating and crossbreeding African Wildcats, Jungle cats, and eventually others depending of the prevailing mood. They were doing selective breeding before it was cool. And cats being cats, they did a bit of unsupervised hybridization their ownselves.

Biblical creationists believe that Noah did not need multiple cat kinds, probably very few pairs or even just one pair. They (and the other critters) were most likely preloaded with a great deal of genetic information which eventually gave us big cats, little cats, and everything in between.
God created an incredible amount of genetic variety in each of the kinds, including the cat kind. The original cat kind was likely a medium-sized feline. One particularly fascinating candidate is the Asian Golden cat . . . Although we cannot be certain what the original cat kind was if we were to theoretically “design” one, the Asian Golden cat would incorporate all the features we wanted . . . And coincidentally, the Asian Golden cat would probably be the closest midsize cat to the geographical area of where the cat kind would have left Noah’s Ark. A medium-sized created kind is vitally important to later species because we need to be able to have the genetic potential for large cats like tigers and lions, and yet still have reproductive compatibility to produce (for example) Sand cats and African Wildcats.
You can read the entire article (which has a passel of pictures) by clawing your way over to "Feedback: Have Domestic Cats Remained Virtually Unchanged for 2,000 Years?" Another article you may like (which has some personal information about our Basement Cat), "How We Get Our Fabulous Feline Friends".



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