Domestic Cat:Felidae Felis Felis Sylvestris lybica cattus

A small, usually fur covered mammal on four legs. A round head accompanied by pointy ears and long whiskers used to assist with hunting sits on the animal's shoulders.

Cats can travel at relatively fast speeds averaging perhaps 5-10mph. They hunt at all times of the day, mostly after dark, preying on small birds and mammals.

Cats are a largely solitary creature, calm, composed and alert. They can develop a strong relationship with humans, creating a bond that lasts for the life of the cat.

Cats sleep in small periods over the course of the day, rather than sleeping for one long time as a human does. They have very keen senses, especially at night.

Cats, contrary to popular belief, do get along with dogs. Often, they will help the dog notice disturbances in the night, as the cat has much better ability to notice things at that time.

A domestic cat can live almost anywhere in the world, barring the poles, deserts and the bottom of the ocean. They are usually found in the homes of humans, but can also survive in cities, forests, and other locales. They are one of the most adaptive creatures, and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

-=A brief history=-

5000 years ago, a group of nomads in what is now Egypt gave up their wandering practices. They settled down, and began to grow their own food; grains and other hardy plants. Not having any other way, they had to store their surplus food out in the open. Varmints (rats, mice and others), discovered this store of fresh nourishment, and ate it.

Along came a small animal the African Wildcat, attracted by the large amount of easy prey (the varmints), to the Egyptians homes. The people noticed that the Wildcat ate the mice, and encouraged it to stay by tossing it a fish head every once in a while. This was a good deal for both the cat and the men:The cat got free, easy food; the men got rid of the mice.

Quickly, the cat became domesticated. As it spent more and more time around the humans, it began to trust them more and more. At first it let the humans come a bit closer, then closer, and finally to touch and pet them. This relationship developed into the affection we share with cats today.

For years, the domesticated cat was revered amongst the Egyptians, they devoted gods to cats and worshipped them as deities. Everyone wanted a cat, because everyone had mice to fend off.

This love of cats spread to many parts of Eurasia, including the Far East and Central Europe. In Europe, the closest thing to a cat goddess was the Norse's Freya, for whom Friday (Freya's Day) was named. When the Christian church came into power, it frowned upon gods such as Friday, and designated her day as "Black Sabbath."

The cats received the bad end of this deal, they were persecuted and tortured, much as the Witches in Salem, but we'll get to that later. It became a Christian law that cats were not to be bred, and were instead to be killed, yet they still thrived.

This is where the connection between "Witches" and cats comes from. Some women would care for and raise cats, despite the religious laws. Some man would come along and trash her property, because of her irreverence. The next day a bucket of waste would fall on his head. Since "bad things(tm)" only happen due to another "bad thing(tm)" or a Curse, the man must obviously have been cursed by the "Witch."

Another group that ignored the laws against cats (along with those barring profanity and sex) were the Sailors. They prized the cats for their ability to get rid of undesirable creatures on a boat, and the cats quickly gained a high respect amongst the men. In fact, not a few mutinies were caused simply by the captain's kicking of the cat.

Eventually, the bad connotations of the cat were lost in Europe, and they were appreciated once again. The "black cat" superstition stems from England, and there, in fact, a black cat is in fact good luck.

The bad connotation of cats emerged during the Salem Witch Trials, where they were often associated with and hung beside their masters. This was merged with the black part of the English belief, and spawned one of the most well known superstitions.

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