(Thank you to Wikipedia for a version of the following) We know that cats were venerated in ancient Egypt and were commonly believed to have been domesticated there, but there may have been instances of domestication as early as the Neolithic period from around 9,500 years ago (7,500 BC). A genetic study in 2007 concluded that all domestic cats are descended from Near Eastern wildcats, having diverged around 8,000 BC in the Middle East. Another study in the same year proved that cats were the second most popular pet in the US, behind freshwater fish. In a 2010 study they were ranked the third most popular pet in the UK, after fish and dogs, with around 8 million being owned. In 2016 it was found that leopards were undergoing domestication independently in China around 5,500 BC, and a very recent  2017 study confirmed (again) that domestic cats are descendants of those first domesticated by farmers in the Near East around 9,000 years ago. Ok, so basically they are lovely creatures with individual personalities and we all know someone called 'the cat lady' :)

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