086 The Connection Between Cats and Grain

Why is it that cats come from the same part of the world where people first figured out how to grow and store grain? Would we have bread if we didn’t have cats? In this podcast Kelly and Erik explore the ancient history, famous cats and take a detour into the world of distillery cats and ship’s cats.

Special thanks to Paul Koudounaris, whose lecture inspired this podcast, and the website Purr-n-Fur for information on ship’s and distillery cats.

Many thanks to our Patreon subscribers for making this podcast and blog possible.

If you’d like to leave a question for the Root Simple Podcast please call (213) 537-2591 or send an email to [email protected]. You can subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store and on Stitcher. The theme music is by Dr. Frankenstein. A downloadable version of this podcast is here.

Leave a comment


  1. I like idea that cats came to us as a ready-made hunting professionals and became somewhat more civilized and friendly later. We have this sort of mutual respect, but also some emotional distance. It is a good relationship.

  2. I love this podcast! My dad says that in Japan, the genetically rare male calico was prized amongst fisherman because they always knew what the weather would be that day. Washing their face with their paw counter-clockwise meant sunny skies, and the opposite direction meant cloudy, stormy days…or maybe it was vice versa…

  3. I like the idea that cats can be said to have domesticated humans almost as much as the other way around; the same holds true for dogs, arguably to an even greater degree (but I’m biased).

    Break a leg this Saturday when you present the lecture, Erik! Also, thanks for the shout-out in the podcast; I’m glad to be a supporter.

  4. I have to say that although I love my cats, and we have had many, only my childhood cat would kill rats or mice. Most of our cats would never hunt, although we do have a good birder, much to my dislike, but it only wants to play with the rodents and only kills them on accident.

Comments are closed.