The Cat

The cat is a contradiction. As soon as it leaves the house, it shrugs off its cute and cuddly image and reverts to being a killer. Over the years, the cat has been revered by the ancient Egyptians and loathed by the people of the Middle Ages. Today they are once again our best friend, but can we ever truly tame them?

Produced by NHNZ

The cat is a contradiction. Curled up in a chair in front of the fire it’s like a cuddly toy, but in reality we’ve let a lion into our living room. While dogs will come when they’re called; cats take a message and get back to you. As soon as a cat leaves the house it shrugs off its cute and cuddly image and reverts to its wild instincts. The domestic cat is only tame when it wants to be. The rest of the time it’s a killer.

And that’s just what the people of Ancient Egypt needed to control plagues of rodents. Soon people adored their pest controllers so much that when a cat died, the entire household shaved off their eyebrows. But then in the Middle Ages of Europe, love gave way to loathing. The church persecuted cats because they were the agents of Satan and familiars of witches. That’s why today we have so many superstitions about black cats and bad luck.

But just 200 years ago, the cat’s luck changed. Almost overnight it went from untouchable to irresistible, thanks to one very powerful woman. Queen Victoria gave the cat a royal stamp of approval. Today the cat has overtaken the dog as preferred animal to share our lives. But it’s still a killer at heart, and are once again getting in trouble in places like Australia.

The cat may be our new best friend, but deep down can we ever truly tame the tiger? What does the future hold for the cat? Can we really expect to lock up an animal that has resisted our efforts to tame it for 6000 years?

Episodes From This Series

The Cow

30 mins / 2001

The Bee

30 mins / 2001

The Shark

30 mins / 2001

The Whale

30 mins / 2001

The Parrot

30 mins / 2001

The Fish

30 mins / 2001

The Butterfly

30 mins / 2001

The Ram

30 mins / 2001

The Dog

30 mins / 2001

The Cat

30 mins / 2001

The Worm

30 mins / 2001

Who was the Real Lord of the Flies

2 Minutes / 2007

The Goldfish and the Emperor

2 Minutes / 2007

How a Moth Saved the Queen of England

2 Minutes / 2007

Dracula Was A Little Batty

3 Minutes / 2007

Are Butterflies the Messengers of the Gods

2 Minutes / 2007