Three of my cousins are debating over Science Nordic ( September 22 article that shows cats on a Viking ship. “Cats on a ship?” you ask. The idea does sound strange. After all, how many cats do you know that like to get wet?

Clearly, the cats are pasted in pictures. The article’s author explains, however, that cat remains were found together in a Viking grave in northern Germany. An earlier September 20 posting by’s Ewen Callaway, further explains that these remains and others were analyzed by French evolutionary geneticist, Eva-Maria Geigl.

Results of Geigl’s research suggest that there were two major episodes of cat migration, the first from early agricultural communities in the Middle East to the Mediterranean, and the second, thousands of years later, from Egypt to Eurasia and Africa that would undoubtedly involve ship travel. Just as cats were used as mice catchers in agricultural areas, it makes sense to assume that they were used aboard ships for the same purpose.

Not open for debate is that fact that most cats do chase mice and other small moving objects! As long as there are mice on the loose, whether they are in the field, aboard ships, or in our garage, our cat’s predator instinct will take over.

©Phyllis Bartels 2016

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