Check out Abigail Tucker’s new book, The Lion In the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World, a lively adventure through history, natural science and pop culture in search of how cats conquered the world, the Internet and our hearts.
House cats rule back alleys, deserted Antarctic islands and our bedrooms. Clearly, they own the Internet, where a viral cat video can easily be viewed upwards of 10 million times. But how did cats accomplish global domination? Unlike dogs, they offer humans no practical benefit. The truth is they are sadly incompetent rat-catchers and pose a threat to many ecosystems. Yet, we love them still.
To better understand these furry strangers in our midst, Tucker travels to meet the breeders, activists and scientists who’ve dedicated their lives to cats. She visits the labs where people sort through feline bones unearthed from the first human settlements, treks through the Floridian wilderness in search of house cats on the loose, and hangs out with Lil Bub, one of the world’s biggest feline celebrities.
Witty, intelligent and always curious, Tucker shows how these tiny creatures have used their relationship with humans to become one of the most powerful animals on the planet. The appropriate reaction to a cuddly kitten, it seems, might not be “aww,” but awe.
Tucker was the first-ever staff writer for Smithsonian magazine, where she remains a contributor. She previously wrote for The Baltimore Sun. Her work has been featured in The Best American Science and Nature Writing series. The first word of both of her daughters was “cat.”