Cat-lovers, to arms, or at least to pen! A litany of unwarranted aspersions on our feline companions is to be found in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, an otherwise objective publication.
Cats “are more attached to places than people” is the first calumny.
“Cats do not perform directed tasks,” is the second.
It gets worse. “Their actual utility is debatable, even as mousers.”
These deplorable judgments are part of the authors’ thesis that cats took a different route to domestication than did other domestic animals.
All the other species, in the authors’ view, were bred by people for their desired qualities. Cats, being without utility, were not. Instead, they domesticated themselves and chose their own mates without human interference.
I liked the bit about cats developing a "disdainful tolerance of people."
and now this:
If you've ever wondered who's in control, you or your cat, a new study points to the obvious. It's your cat.
Household cats exercise this control with a certain type of urgent-sounding, high-pitched meow, according to the findings.
This meow is actually a purr mixed with a high-pitched cry. While people usually think of cat purring as a sign of happiness, some cats make this purr-cry sound when they want to be fed. The study showed that humans find these mixed calls annoying and difficult to ignore.