Image by Gaby Stein from Pixabay 

Introduction: Domesticating Animals

Cats and dogs are the most popular pet choices of our age. Although, domestication began approximately ten thousand years ago. Human beings not only domesticated animals but also plants. To clarify in literal terms, the National Geographic Society describes domestication as “the process of adapting wild plants and animals for human use.” The animal species that can be nurtured with care and aren’t threatened to live under normal circumstances are domestic animals while others are wild.

Domestication first began with harmless creatures like goats and sheep for their milk, meat, and hide. Milk and meat for consumption and hide could be utilized for clothes, making shelter and storage. Thus, the domestic animals facilitated in gathering our basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter.

Subsequently, we started rearing sturdy animals like oxen, buffaloes, and horses to transport and plow the fields. The process of domestication has led to agriculture and animal husbandry.

With the advent of modern technology, better species of cattle, fish, and chickens are being raised.

The Lovely Pets

One way of looking at domestication is to see that animals have served the basic as well as economic needs of man. But, is that all?

People have also taken care of animals by building an emotional connection. We see some people adore their pets so much as to consider them a part of their family.

In our times, dogs and cats have their own Instagram profiles with millions of followers. This is quite an interesting thing to note as domesticating an animal may not be new, but the world is capitalizing on fancy dog and cat products and accounts.

What else is new? Identifying yourself as a dog or a cat person! Well, the debate ‘Cats versus Dogs’ is an evergreen debate on whether dogs or cats make up the perfect pets.

The Cats are Queens

The cultural connection with cats-

One can trace cats in the folklores and paintings. In some, the culture cats have been sacred or auspicious. For example, in ancient Egyptian civilization, cats were mummified just like people. They were associated with Gods. One of them was Goddess Basset, and she was worshipped in the city of Bubastis. Records have it as the largest depository of mummified cats.

Cats have been considered lucky in Russia.

Black cats are lucky in the United Kingdom while unlucky in America and rest of the Western Europe. In some folktales, cats have been associated with witchcraft.

However, in Japan, they have a figurine called ‘Maneki-Neko which makes a beckoning gesture to welcome good fortune.

There is a musical by the name of Cat written by T.S Eliot. We see that cartoons have adapted cats as characters. For Examples, the Cat in the Hat Knows Everything About That; Garfield, Doraemon' The Aristocrats, Tom and Jerry.

An additional interesting fact, a male cat is called a ‘Tom’ while a female cat is called a ‘Queen’.

Cats As Purring Pets

Domesticating cats began with the fact that they help in pest control. More precisely, cats would keep rats away, and infest the storage grains. Cats in the long run provided a good companionship and a long one too as their life span is around twenty years. You can cuddle them and they will play with you. They are quiet and only make noise when they are hungry.

You have to take care of their health and hygiene. They need not so frequent but regular grooming. They have lost their hair all over the place. They tend to want to scratch. All these things have to be taken care of.

Some of the cat breeds are Siamese cat, British shorthair, Persian cat, Sphynx cat, Exotic shorthair, American shorthair, and Scottish fold.

Dogs and their Loyalty

Significance of dogs in culture

Just like cats, dogs have been depicted in various cultures. In the pre-historic caves of Bhimbetka in India, we find one of the rock paintings has a man with a dog on a leash. Dogs have been used for hunting and protection as they are alert and faithful.

There are accounts from ancient Rome and Greeks that prove that they had faith in the faithfulness of dogs, for instance, there is a dog mosaic from Pompeii with an inscription in Latin that reads ‘Cave Canem’ which translates as ‘Beware of Dogs’.

In ancient Egypt too, they have a sacred status. There is a limestone statue of Anubis which dates back several thousand years ago.

Dogs have been widely used in the military. Ancient Romans had dogs in the military and so do we have them in our modern militaries. Dogs besides combating are used as trackers and messengers. They are given due respect for their service when they retire.

Just like cats, dogs have been animated as cartoon characters too. Examples, are 101 Dalmatians; Scooby-Doo; Snowy in Tin Tin; Blue’s Clues; Pluto in Mickey Mouse,  and Courage the Cowardly dog.

Pups as Pets

Image by Fernando Benega from Pixabay 

Dogs are emotional creatures, who bond well with their owners and have been known for their loyalty. They have proven to reduce the stress of their owners as they form a great company. They are playful and would love to fetch things for you.

But dogs have to be taken care of as any other pet. They need their regular walks, grooming, and diets. One also has to take care of the fact that the salvia of the dogs may contain the rabies-causing virus. Thus, they need to be properly looked after by vets.

Some of the dog breeds are German shepherds, Bulldogs, Retrievers, Labrador, Siberian husky, Poodle, Great Dane, and Dalmatian.


To have a pet is a whole new experience. Dogs and cats are common but people tame all kinds of animals as long as they aren’t illegal. You’ll find people have pet birds, monkeys, horses, guinea pigs, and rats. People used to own elephants and cows as a symbol of prosperity in India. Some people even petted snakes.

It is sad to see animals being caged in zoos for display away from their natural habitat, put in circuses for entertainment while they are being treated with cruelty in the background, slaughtered for food, hunted for fun, burdened to carry loads, and injected with chemicals as part of experiments.

Humans have always acted and behaved like a superior species distinct from the rest of the animal kingdom. Humans have considered them privileged enough to hunt and subordinate them.

It is I think one of the noblest things to pet an animal. To take care of it, not for needs but out of compassion, and develop a connection with a creature who does not speak our language but expresses its love through eyes and actions. It is very beautiful to own a pet. 

.    .    .