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They’re the sneakiest creatures on the planet, but who knew our favourite medieval marauders were cat lovers? Turns out the ferocious Norsemen loved their feline companions so much that they went sailing with them around the world!
A super scientific study was presented at the International Symposium on Bimolecular Archaeology, where scientists did really important research on ancient mummy cats that lived 15 000 years ago.
It is now common knowledge that cats power the internet (just look at all the cat memes), but before their digital domination became entrenched they used us humans to spread their influence in the ancient world. Sneaky cats!
Where do cats come from?
It seems this is what the study is trying to answer. Since dogs are way more awesome (*ducks*), there is a lot more research on them than there is on cats. They’re sneaky like that.
“We don’t know the history of ancient cats. We do not know their origin, we don’t know how their dispersal occurred,” Eva-Maria Geigl, an evolutionary geneticist from the Institut Jacques Monod in France, told Ewen Callaway at Nature.
From the mummy cats found in Egyptian tombs and Viking burial sites in Germany, the study found that felines had two waves of worldwide expansion.
The first conquering cats came from the Middle East and spread across farming communities. They wanted the rodents who wanted the grain. And the farming humans were like: “cool, you can stay because you eat rats and you’re super-cute.” We played right into their hand.
The second expansion came from European colonial cats who used the Viking people for transport and free food. The Vikings thought the cats were helping them curb the rodent issue onboard, but the cats knew better.
Now they’re everywhere and they even took control of our interwebs. But we’re onto you, sneaky cats, no more shall you use us humans for your domination!
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