No matter where you live, and no matter what your cat (or the neighbor's cat, if you're not a cat person) looks like, cats all share a common history that stretches way, way back. Farther back than cheese. It's a long, adorable and maybe also evil history.
Our listener mail is about our "Happy Birthday to You" episode. One is from Mike and is about "The Simpsons." Novella also asks about Marilyn Monroe's famous singing of "Happy Birthday to You" to the President.
Here's an article: How Animal Domestication Works
Episode link: Here, Kitty Kitty: The Domestication of the Cat
Holly's research legwork on this is amplified by her many years of owning, caring for and studying cats:
- Brown, David. "Why Do Cats Hang Around Us? (Hint: They Can't Open Cans)" The Washington Post. June 29, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/06/28/AR2007062802343.html
- Brown, David and Carlos A. Driscoll. "Science: Cats Domesticated Themselves." Washington Post. June 29, 2007. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2007/06/29/DI2007062900911.html
- Driscoll, Carlos A., et al. "The Evolution of House Cats." Scientific American. June 10, 2009. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-taming-of-the-cat
- Driscoll, Carlos A., et al. "From Wild Animals to Domestic Pets, An Evolutionary View of Domestication." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. June 16, 2009. http://www.pnas.org/content/106/suppl.1/9971.full
- Driscoll, Carlos A., et al. "The Near Eastern Origin of Cat Domestication." Science. June 28, 2007. http://www.sciencemag.org/content/317/5837/519.abstract?sid=ffb6fd2c-61a7-4ca3-82b6-dfd691794949
- Driscoll, Carlos A., et al. "A Suite of Genetic Markers Useful in Assessing Wildcat (Felis silvestris ssp.)-Domestic Cat (Felis silvestris catus) Admixture." Journal of Heredity. 2011. http://jhered.oxfordjournals.org/content/102/Suppl_1/S87.full.pdf+html
- Holden, Constance. "A Fertile Domestication of Cats." Science. June 28, 2007. http://news.sciencemag.org/sciencenow/2007/06/28-01.html
- Wastlhuber, J. "History of Domestic Cats and Cat Breeds." http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/CCAH/local-assets/pdfs/FelHusCh1.pdf
- Zax, David. "A Brief History of House Cats." Smithsonian. July 1, 2007. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/brief_cats.html?c=y&page=1