Video: Cat Pedigree
The ancestor of our domestic cat should be sought not in European forests, but in the hot semi-deserts of the north of the African continent. This is most likely a wild Nubian cat. Even now, having got to a person, she easily lends itself to domestication and generally gravitates towards housing - by the way, the complete opposite of her wild European relatives. The Nubian cat is very widespread in Africa and in the areas where it lives, it splits into subspecies. It is the subspecies living in the Nubian desert and Egypt, as well as the Abyssinian subspecies inhabiting the high plateaus of Ethiopia, that, judging by the structure of the body, are now considered the ancestors of our domestic cat.
The first to put forward this hypothesis was Eduard Rüppel, a researcher from Frankfurt who discovered the Nubian cat on the west bank of the Nile in the middle of the last century and made a scientific description of it. Later, scientists found out that not only in Egypt, but also in Nubia, Mesopotamia, Arabia and other places, subspecies of the Nubian cat were found, and domestication could also occur there.
But this is about the ancestors of short-haired cats.And the long-haired? Their origin has not been fully clarified. Perhaps it was the result of mixing the steppe cat with the Caucasian subspecies of the wild European. Among the possible ancestors, they are called Pallas' cat, and in recent years, a hypothesis has been born that long-haired cats descend from the sand cat, a Central Asian relative of the sand cat that lives in the desert regions of North Africa. This hypothesis is supported by at least such a sign as the preserved dense wool on the inner side of the paws of Persian long-haired cats, which saves a wild dune cat from burns when walking on hot sand. And here is another argument in favor of such a relationship: the area of distribution of the sand cat is northeastern Iran, that is, the area that was called Khorasan in the old days.It was here at the beginning of the 17th century that the Italian traveler Pietro della Valle discovered tamed cats of amazing beauty among local residents. They featured silky blue-gray fur and a fluffy tail. However, whether it was the first Persian cats (they are also called Angora) is not known for certain.
Let's interrupt for a while the search for Murka's ancestors and take a look at the Persian domestic cat. It is not particularly necessary to present her: all over the world a pampered animal is called a princess. They say that it is capricious, fastidious and suspicious. One thing is true - this cat is really capricious, but such weakness can be explained by its appearance - it has to take too much time to do the toilet … But otherwise, the most ordinary cat. In ancient times, when she was just entering the dwellings of the Persians, cats ran across the steppes and forests, not caring at all about lush wool. Unlike the Egyptians, who deified their long-legged, proud and smooth-haired favorites, the Persians did not spoil their new companions, leaving them the right to take care of their appearance.
At the end of the 19th century, Europe first met blue "Persians". They conquered the spoiled ladies of the world with small ears, short legs and an appearance reminiscent of Pekingese dogs. After endless crossbreeding, many color variations of Persian cats appeared. Experts recognize thirteen main ones today. The most valuable are solid colors, such as shades of blue with orange or copper eyes. They are followed by cream and smoky.
With the exception of lions, all representatives of the feline tribe are loners. Maybe this was one of the reasons that the cat " wandered " to the person and stayed in his house? But she was one of the last to come. She was overtaken by a dog, a sheep and other gradually becoming pets.
The murals in the tomb of Saqqar in Memphis (2500 BC) depict a cat very similar to the Nubian. The collar on it indicates that the animal was already in the power of man. But remember - in those distant times, tigers, and lions, and cheetahs lived on a leash at the courts of rulers, so the collar is not yet proof that a wild cat was domesticated at that time. The rich often kept predators at home to show the poor people their power and strength.