Dating for cat lovers

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The construction of the shoulder joints permits the cat to turn its foreleg in almost any direction.

Cats are powerfully built animals and are so well coordinated that they almost invariably land on their feet if they fall or are dropped.

Domestic cats possess other features of their wild relatives in being basically carnivorous, remarkably agile and powerful, and finely coordinated in movement.

It is noteworthy that the ancestors of the other common household pet, the dog, were social animals that lived together in packs in which there was subordination to a leader, and the dog has readily transferred its allegiance from pack leader to human master.

In keeping with a carnivorous habit, the cat has a simple gut; the small intestine is only about three times the length of the body.

The skin of the cat, composed of dermis and epidermis, regenerates and fights off infection quickly.

Although its origin is hidden in antiquity, the domestic cat has a history that dates possibly as far back as the origins of agriculture in the Middle East about 9,500 years ago.

A cat skeleton accompanying that of a human dated to that time was discovered in southern Cyprus.

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Although the cat was proclaimed a ), whose colouring is often the same as that of mixed breeds (although the length of hair and the body conformation are distinctive), was probably crossed at various times with other breeds; the tailless Manx cat (Siamese cats may well be distinct from other domestic breeds, representing a domestication of an Asian wild cat (the ancestor of the Egyptian cat is believed to have come from Africa).

The cat’s teeth are adapted to three functions: stabbing (canines), anchoring (canines), and cutting (molars).

Cats have no flat-crowned crushing teeth and therefore cannot chew their food; instead, they cut it up.

Tiny erector muscles, attached to hair follicles, enable the cat to bristle all over.

Thus, although the cat is a relatively small animal, it can frighten enemies by arching its back, bristling, and hissing. Unlike the dog and horse, the cat walks or runs by moving first the front and back legs on one side, then the front and back legs on the other side; only the camel and the giraffe move in a similar way. Because the vertebrae of the spinal column are held together by muscles rather than by ligaments, as in humans, the cat can elongate or contract its back, curve it upward, or oscillate it along the vertebral line.

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