You’re a cat person, so you definitely know a thing or two about cats. Especially your own, right? You can predict his or her moods, and your pet always knows when you’re down and in need a furry companion on your lap. Cats do their own thing a lot, but they’re not unknowable. And the time it takes to win their hearts is always worth it.

But just how well do you know your feline friend? For example, have you ever wondered how your cat’s wild ancestors came to live side-by-side with humans? How such fiercely independent creatures could be domesticated enough to become the world’s most popular pet, outnumbering dogs by a three-to-one margin?

Many cat lovers might answer that our beloved furry friends have never been tamed and that they have domesticated us. It certainly seems that way when we are woken up for 4:30 am feeding by some insistent head-butting and light nipping! But jokes aside, cat-human interactions have some very interesting historical antecedents. Did you know, for example, that our relationship with these beautiful creatures goes back more than 10,000 years?

A terrific recent article in the Washington Post (to which I’ve linked below) covers this history in great detail and also explains a number of the more inscrutable aspects of your cat behavior. For example, did you know that:

· Very few cats have ever been intentionally bred by people?
· Like their lion cousins, feral cats will organize into colonies of genetically related females
· Purring may not mean, “I’m happy,” but rather, “Please settle down close to me?
· A raised tail might be a better indicator of a cat in a good mood?
· A kitten needs to interact with humans before it is 10 weeks old or it will probably always fear us?
· Your cat’s meowing is tailored to get a specific response from you?

The article answers all these questions in an entertaining and engaging way. If you’ve ever wondered about any of these aspects of your furry friend’s behavior or just want to know a little bit more about cats, I’d encourage you to check it out!