Cat Update

So Basilone is coming around. He’s still reticent to come out and play, but he sat on the bed with Leah and I for about an hour tonight, watching The West Wing. He seems playful and pretty loving, several times augering inbetween Leah and Me for extra cuddling.

He’s still exploring this old house. He’s using the litter box as he should, and is not so perturbed at us he might do any retaliatory marking or peeing. His former owner couldn’t keep him at his new apartment, so he had to let him go. So, he is here. I do feel a little bad for him though, his front paws are declawed, and playing with a shoelace with him is just not the same when he can’t really grip.

We have a cat!

Still a bit hard to believe.

I find domestic animals fascinating. If humans ceased to exist, they would be very different creatures. When these animals ancestors did not live with humans, they were very different creatures.

Cool! Wikipedia has some things to say about domestication. And more about domestic cats. The ontology for a cat would be: Animalia: Chordata: Mammallia: Carnivora: Felidae: Felis: silvestris: catus. I love that.

Like many other domesticated animals, cats lived in a mutualistic arrangement with humans. The benefit of removing rats and mice from humans’ food stores outweighed the cost of allowing a formerly-wild animal to enjoy the relative safety of a human settlement; hence, the relationship between cat and human has continued. However, unlike other domesticated species, housecats’ ancestors did not hunt socially or enjoy the safety of a herd, as other domesticated animals did. This evolutionary history may be the reason cats do not ‘understand’ the desires of humans in the same way that dogs do; before humans, cats had fewer social relationships to benefit from. This may also contribute to a sense common among pet owners that cats are both more aloof and more self-sufficient than other pets. However, cats can be very affectionate towards their humans, especially if they imprint on them at a very young age and are treated with consistent affection.

I also note that: The cat was first domesticated by the Ancient Egyptians in 4000 BC, to keep mice and rats away from their grain stores. They regarded cats as embodiments of the goddess Bast

“Bast” sounds like what Leah calls him, “Bas” — short for — again — Basilone. She plans to take some pictures this week to share with family around the country and yes, with the whole darn internet.

One of my regular readers also points out that “Basilon is Cuban slang for someone or something that is a lot of fun” — which is a nice nifty thing as well.

Some google searches find a “John Basilone” who was a WWII Medal of Honor winner.

There was also a Naval Destroyer: USS Basilone.

Nifty random stuff.

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