The Lion in the Living Room

How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World

The Lion in the Living Room

“By turns funny and disturbing, The Lion in the Living Room is full of surprises. Like all the best nonfiction, it will make you think twice about the world around you.” —Elizabeth Kolbert, bestselling author of The Sixth Extinction

“Dig deep into the history, biology, and science of house cats in this charming, highly informative read that explains how cats came to rule.” B&N Reads

“Eminently readable and gently funny, Tucker’s blend of pop science and social commentary will appeal to cat lovers as well as a broad general audience with an interest in natural history.” —Library Journal (starred review)

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 ten 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, Abby 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.
  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 256 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476738239 | 
  • October 2016
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About the Author

Abigail Tucker
Courtesy of Ross Douthat

Abigail Tucker

Abigail 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.” She is the author of The Lion in the Living Room: How House Cats Tamed Us and Took Over the World.

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