Danger! Danger! Vikings ahead! This time they’ve brought small furry creatures that look quite condescending!
Vikings are often portrayed as bloodthirsty, violent barbarians in literature and television, but most were farmers and sailors who liked snuggling with their purrfect feline companions.
According to a 2016 research study, thousands of years before cats became the second most common pet in America, they were hopping continents with Vikings.
To shed light on the early history of cats, researchers sequenced the DNA from the remains of 209 felines found at various archaeological sites dating as far back as 15,000 years ago. The results show that cats expanded geographically in two waves.
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During the first wave, cats migrated from the Middle East to the eastern Mediterranean, known for its fertile lands. After thousands of years, the second wave started in Ancient Egypt, where cats were worshiped and spread to Africa and Eurasia.
It is believed that Vikings traveling the Mediterranean encountered cats and, once introduced, quickly realized the benefits of having them both on farms and out at sea. The Vikings appropriated them and never looked back.
The cats traveled the world with their new Viking traveling companions, leaving some of their population behind in the Vikings’ many exotic ports of call.
So, next time your cat makes a demand, you might want to hop to it, because that cat could just be a Viking and you could be headed for some serious trouble.