December 16, 2013
How Humans Created Cats

Why do people keep cats?
As a non-cat person, I have long been perplexed by this state of affairs, in which millions and millions of humans around the world have wound up sharing a home with these odd (and, fine, kind of cute) creatures. How did this come to be?
For a long time, archaeologists have hunted for early evidence of this relationship between humans and cats. They’ve found a wildcat buried near a human on Cyprus from about 9,500 years ago, a proximity suggesting some sort of relationship between the two species. And from ancient Egypt there are paintings, about 4,000 years old, that depict cats, often sitting beneath the chairs of women.
But these bits of history did little to reveal how man and cat first reached, paw to hand, across that species divide.
Read more. [Image: Universal Pictures/The Atlantic]

How Humans Created Cats

Why do people keep cats?

As a non-cat person, I have long been perplexed by this state of affairs, in which millions and millions of humans around the world have wound up sharing a home with these odd (and, fine, kind of cute) creatures. How did this come to be?

For a long time, archaeologists have hunted for early evidence of this relationship between humans and cats. They’ve found a wildcat buried near a human on Cyprus from about 9,500 years ago, a proximity suggesting some sort of relationship between the two species. And from ancient Egypt there are paintings, about 4,000 years old, that depict cats, often sitting beneath the chairs of women.

But these bits of history did little to reveal how man and cat first reached, paw to hand, across that species divide.

Read more. [Image: Universal Pictures/The Atlantic]

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