If you just judged the world on cat videos flooding the Internet, you might think the world’s love affair for cats is a recent phenomena. Yet as DNA samples have shown, cats have been around civilization for centuries, riding on Viking ships and taking over much of Eurasia and Africa.

“We don’t know the history of ancient cats. We do not know their origin, we don’t know how their dispersal occurred,” says Eva-Maria Geigl, an evolutionary geneticist at the Institut Jacques Monod in Paris.

Yet ancient Egyptians mummified cats 6,000 years ago and a 9,500 year old burial in corpus revealed the remains of a cat. Cats aren’t just taking over the world today; they took it over a long time ago and today’s humans are finally waking up and realizing that cats really do control the world after all.

To read more about how researchers have found cat DNA indicating humans and cats have interacted for centuries, click here.

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