I have a theory which explains why some people are fearful of the domestic cat and the theory links a fear of the domestic cat with big cat sightings.
A recent, well-publicised, big cat sighting took place very recently near Paris, France. You have probably have heard about it.
A woman thought she had seen a tiger on what appears to be a hill. Somebody, perhaps the woman, took grainy photographs. They are grainy because they have been enlarged digitally (cropped heavily). The woman was so convinced that she had seen a tiger, she managed to convince the authorities of the same thing who instigated a massive search using some 200 French police and members of the Armed Forces.
It appears that a lot of people thought that this cat might have been a big cat and therefore dangerous. The police and the Armed Forces carried firearms in case they had to shoot the animal. There was certainly a lot of fear in the air.
But this cat was never a tiger. It is impossible to envisage the pictures being those of a tiger.
There are countless sightings in the West of big cats which are never proved. What is only ever proved is that the person who made the sighting actually saw a domestic cat.
What this proves to me is that people are inherently fearful of any one of the big cats, tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard. My theory is that this fear goes back to the beginning of homo sapiens. Perhaps we’re talking hundreds of thousands, and before that millions, of years ago to the species of primate which proceeded homo sapiens.
At that time, millions of years ago, the primates who are our ancestors were genuinely in fear of tigers and lions and the other big cats because they genuinely were a danger to their existence.
This hazard to survival lasted for a very long time and I believe that it became hardwired into our DNA.
Because it is hardwired into our DNA, some people regard all cats including the domestic cat as dangerous. It is not a rational fear. It is just that their brains are programmed. This is one reason why people mistreat the cat or hunt cats. It is partly why feral, shelter cats are hastily euthanised.
This irrational fear of cats is a throwback to our ancestors and is demonstrated in these rather wild and obviously inaccurate big cat sightings such as the one that took place near Paris recently.
Why are some people more prone to this irrational hard-wired programmed fear of cats? They live their lives more instinctively. They are less well educated and therefore less rational. Education overcomes ancient brain programming. These people are also more prone to seeing the domestic cat as a baby with the round face and large eyes. This counters the fear but always. Perhaps it is a reason why the most popular breed for many years was (perhaps still is) the modern Persian with the round head and eyes.