Cats Have Been Domesticating Man For Thousands Of Years
And have done a pretty decent job of it too – helping to tone down our brutishness, divest us of our barbarism and develop our selflessness, sensitivity and responsibility – our caringness. You can’t keep pets long without having those qualities and it is largely dogs and cats, the animals who have entered our homes and with whom we share our lives, who have taught us this.
Speaking in a general way, to successfully keep pets we must get out of ourselves and into the being of another creature. We try to understand them, to know them and to provide them with all they need for health and happiness. This makes us less selfish – more civil. As a society we have enacted laws for the protection of pets and as a whole, we, as a people have elevated cats and dogs to the realm of close companions, friends and more. Across the word we have come to embrace the animal kingdoms and particularly canines and felines and doing so has elevated us as a people. It has helped tame us; domesticate us.
Speaking personally, as an individual I bring a cat into my home with the intention of caring for her, She is completely dependant on me to satisfy her needs (which are multiple and not always obvious), and wants, which can also be a challenge to decipher. I give her water and food and comfortable places to rest and feel safe. I observe her and see her wants. I care for her. I hold and comfort her. I play with her on her terms. I embrace her in my life and I love her.
And I do these things no matter how I feel, whether ill or despondent or pressed for time – and this – caring for these other species and ensuring their weel being, even when for whatever reason it is difficult or burdensome is the civilizing influence pets bring to man. By eleciting from us compassion and empathy – a quality of selflessness, without an abundance of which any civilzation is doomed and any individual only half alive, they raise us up to better beings. So tell your petless friends to cease their uncivil ways and get themselves a cat.