Raising cats all these years, I've noticed something interesting about their behavior.
House-cats (common felis domesticus) are not really solitary creatures; they do have forms of society. In Nature, normally each adult individual will go out and establish a personal territory -- a hunting-ground, sufficient to feed him/herself, which also contains a safe den and its immediate den-yard. This is remarkably similar to a human's ranch or farm, farm/ranch-house, and farm-yard. The territories are normally staggered between the male's and the female's; that is, one female's territory will overlap those of two to four males, and vice-versa. This gives each female a good selection of males at mating-time, and the same for the males. The cats will then treat each other with a noticeable social equality. It's a neat, workable system.
However, when there's a large, reliable and centralized food-source -- such as a human with several bowls and lots of cat-food -- cats will form a different sort of society. When forced, by the food-supply, into this sort of communal society, the animals will form social hierarchies -- complete with the politics thereof. The males will form a hierarchy that depends on which tomcat can beat up all the others, and which tom-cat can beat up the next-biggest number of others, and so on. The females will form a more complicated hierarchy, one that depends not only on which female can beat up the others, but also on which female is pregnant or nursing; a nursing female automatically goes to the top of the hierarchy, with the toughest female taking second place, and so on. I've noticed that the hierarchy becomes obvious when the food is spread out for the group. The other cats will hang back until the top cat comes up, takes at least one ritual bite of the food, pronounces it good, and then withdraws -- whereupon the other cats will line up at the food-dish in order of rank. If the top-cat pronounces the food "not good" -- usually by taking a bite or sniff, then backing off and kicking dirt over it -- then the other cats won't touch it. Again, we can see similarities here to human societies.
In short, where each individual has his/her own territory that can provide for his/her survival, there is social equality. Where a population is dependent on a central food-source/territory, hierarchies (and politics) form.
No less a philosopher than Thomas Jefferson noticed something similar among human societies of his day, and remarked on it in his various writings. This is why, as President, he sent Lewis and Clark off to explore the "wilderness" in hopes of finding lots of potential farmland. This is also why he passed the Homesteading Act. His dream was to create a society where every individual had his/her own "territory" -- enough land to support his/her own family on his/her own labor, without dependence on somebody else. In his day there was enough unoccupied land that, he assumed, Americans would always have home-territories and be independent; all Americans would be "yeomen", and there would be no aristocracy -- and, hopefully, no more slaves. That was Jefferson's dream, and he tried hard to make it work.
It did work, after a fashion, for about a century. Then (once slavery was abolished, causing a shortage of cheap labor), wide-open (and encouraged) immigration, improved medicine that severely reduced infant mortality, and a social penchant for large numbers of children caused a population boom that nobody at the time could have foreseen. That's why today we have a national population of at least (the Census Department will freely tell you that they miss roughly 15%) 310 million, which is straining our natural and social resources.
That's why today most of our population is piled up in large cities, living in rental housing, owning no land, dependent on jobs provided by other people, and arranged in social hierarchies varying from the infamous 1% Super-Rich down to the desperately poor -- whose labor is about as cheap as that of slaves. I don't think this happened entirely by accident. There always were people who wanted to be aristocrats, and who hated Jefferson's Dream.
There have always been people who hate cats, too.
--Leslie <;)))>< )O(