Cat care practices of the late 1950s-early 1960s, derived from evidence in songs

Some day maybe Fred will win the fight

Then the cat will stay out for the night.

And when you finish doin’ that
Bring in the dog and put out the cat
Yakety yak (Don’t talk back)

from these clues I glean that in the late 1950s/early 1960s, it was common to make your cat sleep outside.

I don’t think that’s generally the accepted practice today. Moreover, in the Flintstones theme in particular, it seems like it was already a challenge to keep a cat outside.

Now, I can anticipate the criticism: couldn’t it be that the Flintstones theme is reflecting the rules of prehistory, and not the 1960s? I’d argue that if you review the Flintstones, and consider some details like co-habitation with dinosaurs, strict accuracy to prehistory was not a priority, in fact the show reflects the values of the time of its creation more than an imagined prehistory.

All of us humans, it seems to me, are like Fred, and we “lost the fight” to keep cats outside.

We’re told by scholars that dogs have been domesticated anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 years longer than cats have been. Our co-evolution with cats is ongoing.

I wonder how cats convinced us they could stay inside. My cat is def not staying outside for the night (except for mysterious expeditions on cat business).



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