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"I attempted to repeat the experiment, however once my assistant discovered that I didn’t really have any tuna, she declined to participate in any further tests."
October 13, 2012 12:19 PM   Subscribe

The Pliocene Pussy Cat Theory (which originally appeared in The Annals of Improbable Research) argues that the human ancestor Australopithecus domesticated cats for hunting, defense and harvesting static electricity to make it easier to climb trees. The theory, which was proposed by Lorenzo Love, is a parody of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (which is critiqued here and in shorter form here). Whether you know about the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis or not, the Pliocene Pussy Cat Theory, and Love's follow-up, the Subterranean Ape Theory, will completely alter your understanding of human evolution.
posted by Kattullus (14 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Incidentally, there's a recent theory that human ancestors were adapted to live in wetlands, though that's not the same as the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis.
posted by Kattullus at 12:30 PM on October 13, 2012


It just occurred to me that there is a fairly good chance that cats tamed early humans to use as providers of food, shelter,and scritchies. The Egyptians were the last culture who knew this consciously, the rest of us are simply acting out the programming bred into us over thousands of generations.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:44 PM on October 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


Thus, aliens.
posted by stbalbach at 12:49 PM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I would not be surprised if the cats are watching us right now trying to figure it all out.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:50 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm waiting for the theory that we all evolved from wet cats. Wet, miserable, pissy, eat-your-soul-for-breakfast-shit-it-out-in-your-shoes cats.
posted by maudlin at 1:36 PM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Rub a child’s balloon on a cat and it will stick to the ceiling, sometimes for days." The cat or the balloon?
posted by b33j at 2:49 PM on October 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm on the side of cats breeding us to service their needs. I basically work for the cat.
posted by arcticseal at 2:56 PM on October 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


...a stream of urine is a good conductor. You may test this by peeing on an electric fence.

Any male that has done this, accidentally or in the spirit of scientific inquiry, will tell you that Australopithecus would choose fighting off saber tooth cats to static cling release by urine stream.

And depending on my cats for sustenance would mean imminent starvation. They leave feathers, heads, and those green wobbly bits.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:13 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dogs have owners, cats have staff...
posted by jim in austin at 4:21 PM on October 13, 2012


A weak version of the AAT is probably ascending, not diminishing.
posted by Brian B. at 4:35 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Kitty!
posted by homunculus at 6:02 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Fantastic.
posted by ph00dz at 9:50 PM on October 13, 2012


Easily my favourite quote--and image-- from the article:

Two million years of being carried around as a defensive weapon may account for the modern cat’s desire to be held.
posted by sundaydriver at 11:51 PM on October 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


My cat isn't that fond of being held, my guess is that he's more highly evolved than the average cat. No thumbs yet. Yet.
posted by arcticseal at 6:49 PM on October 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


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