By Beth Clark • August 08, 2018
If the cat found buried with a human on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is an accurate indicator, humans have been affectionately attempting to herd cats as pets for 9,500 years. Cats started showing up in primitive art around 1950 BC, so it's safe to say that humans and felines go waaay back.
According to the research journal Science, all domestic cats descended from a Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis silvestris, or "cat of the woods," and cats were first domesticated in the Near East; a process that began up to 12,000 years ago. Ancient Egyptians worshipped and even mummified cats, which archeologists confirmed when they found a cat cemetery with 300,000 of them. (Clearly, they don't ALL have nine lives.)
Fast forward to the present, and there are 90 million(ish) domestic kitties slinking, pouncing, and napping in 34% of US homes. The celebrity feline roster includes Grumpy Cat, Mr. Bigglesworth, the Cheshire Cat, Sylvester, Garfield, the Aristocats, Oliver, and, of course, the most purrrrfect cat of all, Catwoman. A search of the word "cat" on ThriftBooks.com yields over 10,000 results, so they're a favorite of the literary world as well. For anyone curious (heh heh) what the top kitty name is in the US, it's Max.
Cats and humans have a (mostly) harmonious and undeniably symbiotic relationship, yet they've maintained their independence despite being domesticated for thousands of years. Their unpredictable ambivalence is more than offset by their ability to win us over with their purring and playful personalities. Here are some ThriftBooks reader favorites for grownups:
The Cat in the Hat would have been a flop if it had been about a dog, but luckily, that didn't happen, so it's at the top of the "cat book" list in the YA and kids' book categories.
Whether you're thinking of joining the cat ownership club for the first time or you're well on your way to becoming a bona fide crazy cat lady, ThriftBooks has a plethora of resources to help you out, so here are a few to start with:
Happy reading, and PLEASE remember to spay and neuter your kitties!