As I couldn't find a cat beginning with F, I decided to cover some facts about the whole range of them and that includes the good old moggy, those cats that have always been much loved by their owners over the centuries. No particular breed or ancestry......they just happened and we received so much love from them and we so glad they were a part of our lives.
DOMESTIC CATS seem to date back to around ancient Egyptian times, when they were worshipped and heralded as sacred animals to the Gods in Egypt. The cat has since become an honoured and valued member of family homes worldwide.
A cat's senses are superior amongst the animal world, with exceptional sight, smell and taste, cats are able to subtly sneak up on, and catch their prey with immense success. Despite the cat's unbeatable night vision, their eyesight during the day is actually not too dissimilar from that of we humans. Due to this, cats are more nocturnal hunters.
The average domestic cat sleeps for around 18 hours a day. Despite wild cats being solitary animals, the domestic cat is known to enjoy attention from humans and other animals and will often even get on well with some dogs (our Burmese 'Kandi' loved dogs and even tamed our bull terrier enough that she would cuddle up to her and you would find them sleeping blissfully together).
Cats have soft pads on the bottom of their paws to enable them to move smoothly and run quickly.
Cats have sharp claws to help the cat to grip when running and climbing trees.
The sharp claws of the cat are retractable which allows them to remain sharp as they avoid contact with the ground when it is not needed.
Cats are able to walk very precisely as they put their back paws in place of the front paws, helping to minimise noise and visible tracks. (Took me a while to work that one out but then it suddenly dawned on me and the penny dropped!).
Cats have highly specialised teeth which allows them to both bite and tear meat apart.
The front set of teeth in the mouth of the cat are well developed and act efficiently to shear meat apart, like a pair of scissors.
Cats have tiny hooks or spikes on their tongue which helps the cat to get any remaining meat from bones.
The hooked tongue of the cat is very beneficial so that the cat is able to clean itself effectively.
The average adult cat has 30 teeth which include 12 incisors. 4 canines, 10 premolars and 4 molars.
Although cats are known to pose health risks to some people (allergies etc), on the upside interactions with cats may improve health and reduce physical responses to stress: for example the presence of cats may moderate increased blood pressure. Cat ownership may also improve psychological health by providing emotional support and dispelling feelings of depression, anxiety and loneliness. The ability to provide companionship and friendship are common reasons for owning a cat.
From another point of view, cats are thought to be able to improve the general mood of their owners by alleviating negative attitudes. According to a Swiss study carried out in 2003, cats may change the overall psychological state of their owner as their company's effect can be comparable to that of a human partner. The researchers concluded that, while cats were not shown to promote positive moods, they do alleviate negative ones. One study found that cat ownership is associated with a reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes at the 95% confidence interval. Several studies have shown that cats develop affection towards their owners. However the effect of these pets on human health is closely related to the time and effort the cat owner is able to invest in it in term of bonding and playing. (Surely that would be the case with children and adults as well).
I was thinking the other day about the cats that had been a big part of my life over many years and tried to remember all their names. From 1953 when I had a home of my own after my first marriage I can remember FLUFFY, TIMMY, ANGEL, (whoops there's one or two missing there) and then from 1966 when Phil and I were together there were CHARLIE BROWN, ITSY, BITSY, PUMPKIN, WHITEY, TIKI, KOKO, KANDI, GUS, PIP, HENRY and now our PRECIOUS. My apologies to those cats whose names I've temporarily forgotten. We loved them each and every one. They were all different in their own way and I am so glad they shared their lives with us.