The domesticated feline was long ago just a wild animal. It’s objectives of food, shelter and survival were achieved on it’s own without human intervention. One day this changed. One day, humans figured out that having cats around could be helpful in protecting their crops and stores from things like rats and birds.
I’m sure it was just a convergence of markets. The humans had a high byproduct of rats and birds, which the cats wanted. The humans wanted to be rid of those creatures and the cats were happy to oblige. A partnership was born.
Eventually that partnership evolved, the cats becoming more and more used to the humans and the humans more and more used to the cats. Cohabitation occurred and then the unthinkable – the humans started to feed the cats.
How did the cats get out of the heavy lifting of mousing and into the luxury of being cared for? When did they stop being a work animal and start being a lap warmer?
I can’t tell you which cat came up with the genius idea to change their marketing strategy towards humans, but it worked like a charm. Sure there were some marketing faux pas (the black plague) but eventually cats really got things going for them. With a growth in urban development cats weren’t simply obsoleted.
They rebranded themselves as companions, rather than work animals.
Now I have two cats whose major contribution to my life includes furballs and bed-time snuggles. That’s a long way from the mouser, and neither party seems unhappy with the arrangement.
Markets change. If a cat can figure out how to adapt, can’t you?