Cats have played a role in every era of human history so the Old West is no exception. During the gold rush days in San Francisco, rats and mice were taking over the town. So one man got the bright idea of sailing to Los Angeles, picking up stray cats, and bringing them back to sell for $10 a piece.

Cats proved so popular in protecting against rodents that people were known to steal cats from each other. So the next time you’re home with your feline, just be thankful that nobody’s trying to steal your cat to get rid of rodents because in today’s world, there are plenty of cats to go around.

To learn more about how people in the Old West needed cats, click here.