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According to ancient Egyptian lore, the goddess Bast, who protected her worshippers from disease and hard luck, had the figure of a woman and the head of a cat. Egyptians loved their feline companions, including them in family portraits, mummifying them alongside their owners, and creating exquisite works of sculpture around their graceful forms. 

Four thousand years later, the cat continues to charm us. Katharine M. Rogers traces our relationship with this curious creature in Cat, an entertaining look at one of the most popular pets in the world. From the domestic cat’s emergence in ancient Egypt to its enormous popularity in the contemporary United States, Rogers uncovers the feline’s cultural history in all its numerous forms: rat-catcher, witch’s familiar, and even the inscrutable creature that inspired Lewis Carroll and Edgar Allan Poe. As Rogers demonstrates, our fascination with cats lies in their uncanny ability to embody just about any character—from sweet to ferocious, affectionate to independent, eerie to elegant. 

Cat will be relished by anyone who appreciates these lovable companions and their amazing ability to bring joy to our lives.

Reaktion Books; December 2006
210 pages; ISBN 9781861894847
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