The final domesticated cat is estimated to die out within the coming months. The latest prediction engines approximate somewhere in the first week of October, 2092. After thousands of years of flourishing alongside humans, cats had fallen out of favor.
It is of course the trajectory of all alliances with the human species. Horses long ago, later cows, now cats. Stripped of their utility, Equines saw a sharp decline in population when the automobile, a transportation machinery, began to outpace them.
Cows had the deep misfortune of appetizing flesh. They began to breed the bovine for their insides. For a moment in natural history, these gentle creatures lived a cruel life across the globe. Then technology too extinguished the relationship. The mechanics of the cellular system came to be understood well enough to recreate flesh and milk independent from the organism. The economics of living were no longer in favor of the cow. Thankfully, because at this point there was not a single bovine that did not wish for extinction as she marched her way to the slaughterhouse.
Some labeled it as cruelty, but this matter-of-fact relationship was not unique to how they treated others, humanity could argue. Near the middle of this century, authentic unbridled laughter began to die out. With limited supply, demand to hear this pure sound skyrocketed. The market was ripe with opportunity. Within the Chinese empire, now spanning every continent, like the American one before it, rose laughter farms. Like the cattle that preceded them, humans, mostly originating from the Uigher genealogy, were placed in pens and tickled with mechanical feathers. Eighteen hours daily they were tickled to produce laughter that could be canned. Plaster it with branding and a narrative on how humanely the prisoners giggles were extracted and you earned a premium. Was this laughter the same authentic bursts of joy that were produced in the past? Of course not. But time trudges on, memory slips and only the old and dying remember how things were.
If you had asked someone a century ago on whether cats would survive, it would have been a laughable question. Felines held a powerful and subtle grip on the hearts and minds of humanity. They did not rely on their strength or on human appetite. The domesticated cat brought joy just by being. A curiosity and independence even in the face of captivity was the hallmark of the cat.
The pinnacle of the relationship with mankind could be marked when short form videos transmitted through the web gave cats unparalleled access to viewership and respect. For a moment, the whole thing even seemed inverted. It was the cat that was the master, humans laughed, and we the servants! A fetish common amongst the powerful is the search for something that will render them powerless. In the cat, humans could play this game of powerlessness in a comfortable, consensual setting; reigning control but pretending not to. But humans first and foremost had an alliance with technology. It was zooming them through time at faster speeds, shedding them of nature's handcuffs. And if by the wayside fell old friends, so what?
Most felines outside of the domestic ones had long been eradicated. The last lion dropped dead several decades ago with much fanfare. Mankind produced all sorts of allegorical art in mourning and celebration of this last lion.
Leopards managed to survive but only within the confines of a shadow prison. A story worth retelling. In 2043 a man visited what was formerly Botswana on a trip to connect with what was left of the natural world. Unbeknownst to the man a leopard had stalked him for over 20 kilometers. As the man paused to rest, the leopard pounced from a tree pinning him to the ground. A heavy thud and a plume of rising dust framed his demise. The leopard wrapped its paws around the back of his neck and placed his hind paws into the abdomen. The amateur explorer attempted to use his hands to protect his face. The leopard used this moment to extend with all of its power his hind legs so that the human's abdomen ripped open, disemboweling him. The guts of this intrepid explorer lay baking in the African sun as the beast caught his breath before dragging the corpse up a tree.
The overreaction was swift. A decree was passed in the nation of Botswana that all leopards would be nanochipped. This new technology humanely cast the tree dwelling cats within a mental prison. Not only was it humane it was noninvasive, the animal simply breathed in the spores. This triggered a complex neural response rendering them useless when humans were in the vicinity. The nation of Botswana disintegrated several years later but the decree was honored and maintained by the new government.
The domesticated cat suffered a more curious twist. No one know exactly why cats fell out of favor. In the latter of half of this century, a new technology appeared that would revolutionize humanity. At this point, revolutions were happening at a frequency so frequent it made violet look absolutely red. This revolution, however, would be of great concern to the feline species.
It is well documented that prevailing technologies will affect the behavior of society. Equally true is the effect on its attitude. Just like caffeine spurred cerebral activity, and the internet muted social interactions, this new technological revolution played out interesting dynamics within the human mind. Coined as the final domino between humans and technology mankind was finally and totally at the behest of their data-driven creations. A small side effect of this was contempt for the independence that remained in others. An unwillingness to obey is always abhorred by those that have dedicated themselves to a life of servitude. In the eyes of cats they saw the shameful fate of their own species. Within a few decades time this oppressive stare became intolerable and cats were first shunned and then eradicated.