Cat World Domination Day

Last Updated on May 12, 2021 by Holly Anne Dustin

The cat community celebrates Cat World Domination Day on June 24th.  Janiss Garza started CWD in honor of her cat Sparkle in 2012.  Though Sparkle has since passed on, Cat World Domination Day still recognizes the passion of cat lovers everywhere.  Look around the internet. You’ll see how cats have dominated the world.  Hang out on Instagram on Wednesdays and you’ll see the #CWDWednesday Hashtag.  How did this all come about?

A Long Time Ago

It all starts in the Middle East between 12,000 and 9,500 years ago. Cats don’t differ significantly in DNA from their wild ancestors so it is difficult to determine exactly how cats became domesticated.  One theory is cats “domesticated themselves”.  As humans developed an agricultural society, the rats moved in on the grain storage.  And once the rats moved in the cats followed on to feed on the rats.  Humans appreciated the help keeping the vermin under control and a symbiotic relationship formed.
 
The Turks proudly claimed the foundation breed in Anatolia, which then spread into Europe.  Turkey has protected the Turkish Angora cats as a natural treasure since.  Egypt also claims the start of the domestic cat which then spread around the Mediterranean.  They traveled the Silk Road with traders and sailed out with the Vikings.  Ships cats spread round the world.  Cats interbred with local wildcats and variants formed.

Good Times and Bad

The relationship between men and their feline friends has not always been an easy one. In Ancient Egypt, the goddess of love was Bastet, a cat. It was criminal to kill a cat.   Cats were similarly revered in the Far East.  However, in the Middle Ages, they demonized the black cat as the “witches’ familiar”.  They killed many to ward off evil (letting rats flourish and possibly leading to the plague.) But cats persevered. From ratter to outside pet and then, following the development of kitty litter, a pampered member of the family.
 
Today the statement that “dogs have owners, cats have staff” is not inaccurate.  No longer the wild mouser, cats lounge on the sofa and sleep in the bed.  We clean the litter box for them, mix up their meals (at their pleasure), groom them, play with them and admire their loveliness.  And ask nothing in return.

Dominating the Pet Space

Cats dominate the pet landscape in the United States now, having outpaced dogs since 1985.  US households keep 94 million cats as family pets.  Cat products and services are a billion dollar industry.  Kitties are stars in television shows and cartoons.  They have held political offices.  Morris the Cat even ran for President three times.
 

If only they had thumbs.

close up of grey tabby cat with green eyes
World Domination!
 

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