White Cat in Blue Bow

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Illustration of a white cat with a blue bow, yellow eyes ad on a blue ground

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Domestic cats are believed to have descended from the Middle Eastern wildcat (Felis sylvestris). Domestication began around 12,000 years ago. Whereas dogs were domesticated earlier by nomadic people, cats became useful once people started settling down, when mice entered dwellings and threatened stored crops. 

People have been depicting cats in art for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians viewed them as sacred, adorning tombs and used to represent divine beings. The Chinese admired cats for their stealth, and frequently painted them on the hunt. In the West however, cats became associated with witchcraft and devilry during the Middle Ages, and it was not until the 1600s that this perception changed.


Zax, D. (2007, June 30). A brief history of house cats. Smithsonian Magazine. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/a-brief-history-of-house-cats-158...

Richman-Abdou, K. (2017, August 8). Cats in art: How our feline friends have inspired artists for centuries. My Modern Met. https://mymodernmet.com/cat-art-history/

Catalog ID AR0387