Let’s keep talking about how wonderful cats are. And they really are amazing. Have you ever stopped to wonder disease-infested Europe would have lost a lot more people during the Black Plague if it weren’t for all those efficient rat killers?
Yes, we owe a lot to our feline friends. Here’s 10 more things you may not have known about them:
1. It’s true that dogs are a much more social animal than cats are. When it comes to social IQ, dogs rank higher than cats. However, when cats are in the mood to do so, they can solve cognitive problems of a higher difficulty than what dogs can.
2. An iPad can store a lot of data, but not as much as cats. Cats can store 1,000 times more data.
3. Back to the whole rat-control thing: Did you know that because they were so good at keeping the rat population at bay, cats were protected by Egyptian law? That’s right, in ancient Egypt, killing a cat was against the law. In fact, cats were worshipped as deity among ancient Egyptians. They were even mummified upon death.
4. Now medieval Europe? That’s a different story. Even though cats played a hugely positive role during the Bubonic Plague, people still feared them. That’s ignorance for you. A pope in the 1400s declared cats to be of the devil, and ordered their execution.
5. Unless a cat is polydactyl, which does happen on occasion, cats’ front paws have five toes. Their back paws only have four. Polydactyl means have more than the regular number of toes.
6. The famous America writer and novelist Ernest Hemingway was awfully fond of polydactyl cats. That’s why they are referred to today as Hemingway cats.
7. Even though the author is long gone, today Hemingway’s Key West estate is home to some 45 Hemingway cats.
8. Since 1948, kitty litter has been made out of a special absorbent clay. Before that, it was just sand.
9. President Lincoln had four feline friends during his stay in the White House.
10. In fact, when Mary Todd Lincoln was asked one time what the president’s hobbies were, it is told that her response was “cats.”