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Cat traces the relationship between humans and the cat from its original domestication in ancient Egypt c. 2000 BC, through the centuries as a utilitarian rodent catcher, its gradual acceptance as a charming and amiable pet, and its present status as a companion on a par with the dog. Long before people valued cats, however, they recognized something special about them. Their graceful, fluid movements, and their self-detachment even as they live in our homes, seems to indicate strange, even supernatural powers. The peculiar fascination of the cat, indeed, is the diversity of images it projects – at once sweet and ferocious, affectionate and independent, elegant and earthy, cosily domestic and eerie. This highly illustrated book, now available in B-format, has a great deal to offer the enormous number of people who like and are interested in cats. Unlike many other cat books, it offers substantial and accurate information about the history of cats and their presentation in literature and art.
Katharine M. Rogers is a freelance writer living in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. She is the author and editor of numerous books and anthologies including Cat (Reaktion, 2006) and Pork: A Global History (2012).
"[a] beautifully illustrated history [...] A perfect read for ailurophiles."
– The Guardian
"Reaktion's reliably stylish and intelligent series of illustrated books about animals in culture goes from strength to strength. Cat unites a typically broad and fascinating set of images with Katherine Rogerss elegant survey of the way humans have seen and thought of home-based felines."
– The Independent
"It requires a wealth of knowledge and some ingenuity to write a book about cats that has a fresh approach and provides unusual information, which has not been repeated from innumerable previous publications. But, as with all the books I have in the this fine new series, this is what Katharine Rogers has achieved in Cat [...] [this] book has a very balanced approach and is written with great empathy and understanding.: