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Cats

.. All types of cats come from the same, basic evolution. Cats are meat-eating, or carnivores, and great hunters; they have sharp, pointed teeth called canines and claws that can be retracted into their paws (Brown 1147). Cats have very keen senses, which allow them to stalk their prey. All cats have well-developed sight and very sharp hearing, which allows them to make successful hunting forays at dawn and dusk (Rutherford 14). Cats must be able to merge in with their environment, to flee the pursuer and pursue their target (Rutherford 18).

Some characteristics of the cat outweigh others without competition. Cats have a strong sense of smell, which is used more for detecting and communicating with other animals than for hunting (Rutherford 14). All cats are linked to one another through their traits and characteristics, but no cat can beat the cheetah. The cheetah is the undisputed champion of sprinters in the animal kingdom; no other creature can surpass it for it’s bursts of speed (Brown 341). Cats occupy all continental landmasses apart from Antarctica and Australia (Cats 1). Due to the cold in Antarctica no animal that is warm-blooded can survive on its own.

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Cats are found in more places over the world than any other animal. Most cats today live better lives then some American people. Today, the cat maintains its position as a respected, but rarely feared, member of the animal community (Currah 17). Other cultures respect and treat the cat with utmost dignity. In India today, the Hindu religion urges followers to provide food and shelter for at least one cat (Coll 1). Egyptians still pay their dues to the cat in Egypt.

Almost everyone in Egypt owns a cat. Those who don’t, still participate in the culture by leaving out table scraps for the roaming felines that happen to pass by (Reilly 43). Some Americans treat their cats as family members. Most cats are fed twice a day, and have dry food and water out the rest of the day to snack on. A stimulating video game can help entertain your indoor cat, giving their instincts a jump-start (Vanderheidn 18).

The simplest things in everyday life can amaze a cat. By playing, the cat learns to put its abilities to full use, improve its intellect, and burns up excess energy (Mondadori 205). Breeding an animal was a way of getting the animal to its fullest ethnic group. Keeping and breeding pedigree cats has long since ceased to be the privilege of the wealthy (Verhoef 43). Most pet cats today do not die a natural death; their lives are ended by veterinarians who will put an end to a painful illness or a very old cat with many problems, and their owners are with them up to the end (Moyes 1,2).

Superstition says that cats have nine lives because of all the mischief they can get into and how close they come to their demise. Cats are the easiest animals to live with, they are not messy eaters, keep themselves clean, and are easy to clean up after. Cats comfort you when you’re down, and can amuse you with their many talents, like playing with a ball of string. Cats are truly mans best friend. Cats are not the latest trend, but have been around for millions of years. Egyptians worshiped them as goddesses.

Many other cultures had luck and fortune superstitions regarding cats. World cultures took cats on boats or would have them in their homes just because of a superstition. The domestic cat is well known for its preciousness, and angelic faces. The domestic cat is the only cat that people consider having in and around their homes. Considering the size of wild cats’, people would not want them as a pet or a security blanket.

The modern day domesticated cat is one of the smallest cats, but can run and climb much faster and higher then we can. The modern day cat is used mostly for the purpose of a companion. Without a companion we humans have no one to tell our deepest desires, and most profound secrets, and cats can surely keep a secret. We have learned that the evolution of a cat did not just begin yesterday, but has been around for over millions of years. Cats did not just show up on someone’s doorstep; we humans have developed a well-tuned, meat-eating beast.

As a cat owner, I have been educated by this project as far back as 35 million years ago. Since cats are tied into the dinosaur era, not only did I learn about cats, but about dinosaurs too. As for the future, cats will still maintain the title as the second most popular pet. Possibly one day the cat will surpass the dog and become known as man’s best friend. I believe that as cats gain popularity in today’s society, they will eventually need to be walked on leashes; therefore, eliminating their freedom to roam outdoors.

The possibility may come for cats to be licensed in the same way that dogs are. If you are planing on getting a cat, I suggest that you get it from the A.S.P.C.A. or from a nearby shelter. Many unwanted cats go to shelters and see their doom in eight days; that’s unless someone comes by and adopts one. It would be a good idea to get your cat spayed or neutered, so that the pet population would be better controlled.

This was an interesting project that not only took a tremendous amount of time and research, but also gave me a better understanding of the cat world. I enjoyed doing the research, typing, and a whole lot of brainstorming. It has definitely taught me organizational skills and file making. This project has given me a jump-start for college and will make researching a paper a little less of a challenge. I look forward to doing more research papers in college with the knowledge I have gained through this experience.

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New York: Meredith Press, 1969. Dempsey, James. Cat Lovers, Don’t Read Any Further // Kitty Worship Pollutes Bastions of Civilization. Telegram & Gazette 4 Nov. 1998: 3.

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The International Encyclopedia of Cats. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1973. Hofmann, Helga. The Natural Cat. Stillwater, Minnesota: Voyageur Press, Inc., 1994. Levin, Mark.

Do Black Cats Cause Bad Luck? 15 Feb. 00. Online. . Luke, Amanda J., ed.

The Evolution of the Cat. Cat Fancy Jan. 2000: 20. Mondadori, Arnoldo, ed. The Cat Fancier’s Association Cat Encyclopedia. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.

Moyes, Patricia. How to Talk to Your Cat. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1978. Patrick, Richard. The Treasury of Cats.

London: Octopus Books Limited, 1972. Reilly, Jane W, ed. Cats in Egypt. Cats Jan. 2000: 42-44. Rutherford, Alice Philomena.

ed. The Reader’s Digest Illustrated Book of Cats. New York: The Reader’s Digest Association (Canada) Ltd., 1992. Steve Dale’s Pet World. 11 Feb. 00.

Online. . Tabor, Roger K. Understanding Cats: Their History, Nature, and Behavior. Pleasantville, New York: Readers Digest, 1997. Taylor, David.

The Ultimate Cat Book. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1989. Vanderheidn, Heidi L., ed. Night at the Mew-vies. Catnip March 2000: 18-20. Verhoef, J. Esther.

The Cat Encyclopedia. Buffalo, New York: Firefly Books, 1996.

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