The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World


NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – If you love cats, check out CT author Abigail Tucker, who recently wrote “The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World.”

The book is filled with surprising information about cats, including their incredible ability to breed and how little affection they truly have for their owners.  “They’re really marvelous animals but I think that we misunderstand them when we think that they’re trying to help us in some way or do good for us,” said Tucker.Cat Facts:

  1. There are more than half a billion house cats on the planet.
  2. House cats are supremely adaptive in diet: they can eat anything from pelicans to crickets, and in the absence of drinking water, cats can subsist on blood and dew.
  3. America’s pet house cats consume the equivalent of three million chickens every day.
  4. Cats only meow to humans, a sound which is strikingly similar to the sound of a human baby. They do not meow to one another.
  5. Cats have mostly bypassed “domestication syndrome,” a set of traits that almost all other domesticated animals share.
  6. Cats initiated the domestication process, not humans.
  7. The fascination with cats is not just a recent trend: world’s first major cat show took place almost 150 years ago in 1871.
  8. Cats are considered to be one of world’s 100 Worst Invasive species.
  9. A pair of intact cats could theoretically produce 354,294 descendants in five years.
  10. You can rent a private room at a high-end cat retirement facility, for just $465 a month.
  11. Cats are not actually very good at rodent control. In cities, cats hardly ever kill street rats, and in many back alleys the two species more or less peacefully coexist, eating garbage together.
  12. Cat posts get twice as many viral views as dog posts, and a recent study showed that British Internet users upload twice as many cat pictures as selfies.
  13. About a third of the world’s people are infected with toxoplasmosis, a cat-borne parasite that invades the human brain. One scholar posits the popularity of Sauvignon Blanc could be linked to its similarity in smell to cat urine. Studies have also show correlations between the parasite and reckless behavior, car crashes, and suicide rates.

More Information:

Abigail Tucker is a correspondent for Smithsonian magazine, where she has covered a wide range of topics from vampire anthropology to bioluminescent marine life to the archaeology of ancient beer. Her work has been featured in the Best America Science and Nature Writing series and recognized by the National Academy of Sciences. Tucker lives in Connecticut. The Lion in the Living Room is her first book.

Check out the book launch at the Keller Tavern Museum, in conjunction with Books on the Common, and the Ridgefield Public Library. The event will be held on October 19th at 7:00PM at 404 Main Street in Ridgefield.

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