You can find at least one cat or dog in almost every home in America. In fact, approximately 67 million households have pets and there are 164 million owned pets in the U.S. (U.S. Pet Ownership). But, do we know where our beloved pets came from? Many know that the dog descended from wolves and the cat descended from some larger wild cat but it is a little more complicated than that.
So just what country did cats originate from? Researchers found that cats have “been involved with humans for about 4,000 years.” They also found a feline that roamed Eurasia and Africa more than 34 million years ago! That’s a long time! This early cat weighed about twenty pounds and was the size of the ...view middle of the document...
D. They adapted to their environment by growing long, brown, waterproof fur (Staub).
DNA researchers tried for a long time to find out exactly where dogs came from, finally, they found it: the Middle East. Robert Wayne, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, says “Dogs seem to share more genetic similarity with the Middle Eastern gray wolves than with any other wolf populations worldwide. We know dogs from the Middle East were closely associated with humans because we found them in ancient human burial sites.” Wayne also made this statement: “In one case, a puppy is curled up in the arms of a buried human” (PawNation). Unfortunately, information on how dogs got to North America is limited. But, we do know that the Spanish brought over new breeds of dogs that weren’t familiar to the Native Americans (Schwartz).
Dogs became pets by the lure of an easy meal. While humans were following herds as hunters, the modern day dog’s ancestors were drawn to their camps by the smell of food (Carver). Most scientists agree that dogs were the first domestic animal after they emerged from wolves. In the process of being drawn in by garbage or leftover carcasses, humans found the wolf ancestors useful for things like guard duty and hunting (Fox News). Although humans weren’t as smart as we are today, our ancestors were still pretty witty. They bred tamer and tamer wolves and during this time, humans and dogs realized they were a dynamic duo (McGrath).
Studies have found that over 80 percent of today’s dog breeds developed in the last few hundred years. Yet, other breeds date back thousands of years ago (PawNation). The Saluki is considered the “royal dog of Egypt.” In ancient Egypt, the Saluki was mummified. That’s how highly the Egyptians thought of them. Another breed, the Chinese Shar-Pei was used on Chinese farms for guarding, herding, and tracking. The Chinese thought these dogs would protect them from evil spirits. The Basenji dog comes from Africa. They were used as pointers and retrievers. Sometimes they were brought to the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt as presents (Staub).
In conclusion, dogs and cats were as much a part of our lives in the ancient times as they are today. Dogs are loyal protectors. Cats are just companions some people enjoy having. Humans today can thank their ancestors, as well as their pets’ ancestors, for the...