Oddly enough, Europe and the cat met recently. The Romans though and concepts about it had not. In America it came with the Spanish caravels. (Another sign: the cat on the ship, it means that the storm is not terrible.)
The ancestors of the current 500 million livestock purring (wild cat and now not exotic) lived in North Africa. I believe that from here they started attacking our homes. However, in Armenia during excavations dwellings VI-VII centuries BC were found the remains of cats. Still another unexpected finding - root tooth domestic cat, had lain in the ground for more than eight thousand years near Jericho. Cat bones of the same age, found in Greece, even more confused archaeologists. Surely here the cat was domesticated?
One way or another, but still believe that in ancient times the domestic cat was the privilege of Egypt. She lived there happily ever after. The Egyptians treated her as a deity. They believed that the soul Housewives after the death hides in the body of the cat. How else - cat animal cleanly, loving order: it does not tolerate that a mouse was running around the tables and chairs. The Egyptians had given way fluffy creatures, when the fire took first cats, then as now. Even for accidental loss of life of this four-legged has the death penalty. And the natural death of the cats was a great grief. All the family was plunged into mourning, people as a sign of great sorrow had trimmed her eyebrows. The mummified cat and honor were buried in a special cemetery.
The worship of cats led the ancient Egyptians even to military defeats. "The Persian king Cambyses went to war with Pharaoh Dog-mannitol. The armies met in 525 B.C. P. X... the Egyptians fought heroically. The Persians only had to resort to trickery. The front ranks of the Persian army got cats and put them, every soldier in front of his chest in the shape of a shield. Out of fear, as if by chance not to kill cats, the Egyptians did not dare to send their well-aimed arrows into the ranks of the Persians; the battle ended in a complete defeat of the Egyptians" (F. Martin. "The three kingdoms of nature").
The Romans and Greeks, "adopt" a cat in Europe probably made fun of the Egyptians, but treated cats well.
In the middle ages, the Inquisition declared cats are the devil's instrument. They were burned, drowned. In Flanders, for example, hundreds of years operated the law "on the cat's environment": once a year, in this ill-fated environment, urban cats caught and was thrown from the tower. Not the middle ages, whether left us a legacy of fear glowing in the dark like a cat's eyes? (By the way, why the Inquisition chose his stamp color green?) The middle ages gave cats supernatural power and forced them "to scrape we hold in our hearts".