cat manIf you’ve ever looked at your cat and thought, “what a wild beast you are,” there may be an answer. British anthrozoologist John Bradshaw has been studying cats for years. In his new book, Cat Sense, he writes about the evolution of our wild little companions. His theory is that cats are not fully domesticated and are more like their wild ancestors than our other companion, the dog. Dogs have been living with humans for tens of thousands of years, the cat-human relationship is much younger.

From NBC News:

Do you ever catch your cat staring at you, as if to say, “I could kill you right now … very easily”? There’s a reason for that: evolution. And cat grumpiness just might get worse in the future, thanks to the way we breed and adopt cats. But there are cures for a grumpy cat, according to the author of a new book about our feline friends.

British anthrozoologist John Bradshaw’s latest book, “Cat Sense,” delves into the depths of the kitty psyche. The way he sees it, the inscrutability of cats — and, ironically, their viral appeal — spring from the fact that cats aren’t all that far removed from natural-born, prehistoric killers.

“Their ability to be social … is only a few thousand years old,” Bradshaw told NBC News. “The cat’s domestication is incomplete, in terms of its need to continue hunting and also in terms of its ability to socialize. One of the consequences of that is it has a rather unexpressive face.”

That face serves as a blank canvas on which we project our own ideas of what a cat is thinking — whether it’s cute kittens striking seductive poses, Grumpy Cat scowling her way to Hollywood, or Henri, le Chat Noir, expressing existential world-weariness. Regardless of what you see on the outside, there’s a different agenda working inside that feline brain, balanced between domesticated cuteness and the killer instinct.

Read more here: Cuddly kitty or killer? Evolution explains why cats are grumpy