Today when we think of domestic cats, we recall the familiar hearthside companion and the mischievous playmate. It is difficult to comprehend that in the past the animal has played a fundamental role in the development of European and Western civilization. The human relationship to the cat has been important for most of the last four millennia.
In this beautifully illustrated book, Donald Engels charts the history and significance of the cat from ancient Egypt to the middle ages, exploring such phenomena as the worship of the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet, the infamous cat massacres and witch hunts of the thirteenth century, and the role of the cat in combating disease and starvation. Classical Cats presents a unique and entertaining view of the vicissitudes of the cat in history.
'Deeply researched and profoundly enlightening. For anyone who loves cats, this book will come as a revelation … a compelling read … it is direct, devoid of sentiment and deeply moving. It left me with much to ponder upon.' - Sir Roy Strong, Country Life
'A cornucopia of delights for any literate cat-lover.' - Times Literary Supplement