A fascinating look into the evolution of the domestic cat is offered in this New York Times article.
According to the research, eight lines of cats have survived to today -- including the leopard lineage which began about 6.5 million years ago and led to the household cat. The lines were delineated through DNA study of 37 species of cats.
It's sad how many of these modern cat species are now endangered and on the brink of extinction. The population levels of some cats (mentioned at the end of the article) are just heartbreaking.
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The illustration is one of Andy Warhol's cats.