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Winding paths of the domesticated catAccording to the assumptions made, the deliberate creation of a breed which involved selecting particular individuals, cross-breeding and reproducing them, took place relatively recently, in the 19th century. In Medieval Poland, cats were not as popular as we could think. According to evidence provided by researchers, semi-domesticated weasels, or even snakes, were used to protect grain crops against rodents. These were people who settled in towns founded in the second half of the 13th century who increased the popularity of cats.It does not mean, however, that cats had entered into no relations with people even earlier. The first, best-documented domesticated cat remains on the territory of Poland date back to the beginnings of our era. The animals are believed to have spread across Central Europe mainly due to the influence of the Roman Empire. Nonetheless, the earliest cat remains in the area date back to even 4,200-2,300 BC and evidence the first migrations of the Nubian cat which originally inhabited the Near East and North Africa. This particular species is considered as the ancestor of domestic cats in Central Europe.
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The Nubian cat is one of wildcat subspecies (next to the European wildcat which is not the domestic cat ancestor even though it is able to cross-bread with it) whose domestication began in the Fertile Crescent ca. 10,000—9.000 years ago. In archaeological excavation sites in Anatolia, Syria as well as Israel, a variety of stone figurines representing those cats has been found. Apparently, cats stayed in the proximity of the first farmers and, with high probability, the Neolithic Age is when the first human-cat interrelations were initiated. People gave up nomadism in favor of sedentary life and started to gather eatables which, consequently, attracted rodents of many kinds. This could result in attracting wild cats to easily achievable food sources and the benefits turned out to be mutual. With much likelihood, cats remained rather neutral to people.