Ever wondered where cats' snobby and authoritarian attitude came from?
Recent studies on the ancestors of modern day felines and the origin of their domestication may have found the answer.
After examining 11,000 cats from across the world, researchers at the University of California found that cats were first domesticated about 8,000 years ago around Ancient Egypt and the surrounding region.
Being good hunters of mice and rats, cats soon proved to be useful for residents when it comes to keeping populations of rodents under control.
This helped amiable relations to form between humans and felines.
The importance of cats probably grew with the shift from nomadic herding to raising crops and livestock - when the stakes were higher and the rodents posed a greater threat to the residents’ food supplies.
Cats have since started dwelling around human communities.
Another survey by Nature Ecology & Evolution examined the genetic makeup of more than 400 "ancient and modern" felines over the span of 9,000 years.
They found that cats lived side by side with humans for thousands of years before they became domesticated pets.
Feline populations migrated to other regions as cats would hop on ships transporting traded goods and supplies.
The first cat migration was from the Fertile Crescent to Europe around 4,400 BCE, while Egyptian cats spread to the rest of the Mediterranean and the Old World around 1,500 BCE.
Being more social and tame, the Egyptian cats became attractive to domesticate.
A feline pet was presented as a gift to the Emperor of China around 500 BCE, from which it spread to other parts of Asia, like present-day India and Japan.
Today, cats are still petted across Egypt and the entire region.
A short visit to the city of Istanbul, Turkey will show just how tight the bond between felines and local residents is.
With time, Egyptians took their relationship with cats to the next level.
When one looks at the art they created, it is noticeable that Bastet, one of the popular Goddesses in Ancient Egyptians, was a cat.
Members of the royal family were often depicted with cats on their laps or underneath their chairs. Images of felines also line up most temples.
Bigger species like lions can also be seen - most significantly in the famous Sphinx statue - sitting near the Great Pyramids in Giza. Various tombs were found with thousands of mummified cats and kittens.
Cats were actually protected by the state; crimes of injuring or killing felines were punishable by law.
Maybe it was their spoiled lives as Goddesses of the Pharaohs that made them acquire this characteristic of superiority.
The bond between cats and humans proved to be unbreakable over millennia.
Today, thousands of years after cats were first domesticated, there are roughly half a billion feline pets around the world.