Mankind first crossed the line from hunter-gatherer to farmer, some ten thousand years ago. The earliest civilization known mainly for agricultural subsistence is the naturally well-watered region around Jericho, circa 8000BC. From that day to this, grain stockpiles and domesticated livestock have attracted vermin. With that came the wild ancestor of the common house cat, Felis silvestris catus.
From the earliest times when man took to the sea, food stores were an attractive free ride, for rodents.
Rats reach sexual maturity in as little as four to five weeks and complete the act of procreation, in the blink of an eye. Litters average 8 to 14 “kittens” and run as high, as 21. With an average gestation period of only 21 to 23 days, rat infestations get out of hand with shocking rapidity.
Left uncontrolled, rats and mice can destroy ship’s stores in a matter of weeks. The “ship’s cat”…
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