Preview: The New Yorker Magazine – May 23, 2022


An illustration of a cat with its claws reaching out.

Ana Juan’s “Making Mischief” – The artist discusses cats, letting fate choose a pet, and spirit animals.

By Françoise Mouly, Art by Ana Juan, May 16, 2022

It is thought that cats lived alongside people for thousands of years, hunting the rodents that inevitably accompany human settlements, before they deigned to become domesticated—a state that many cat owners can attest feels provisional to this day. One research paper on the history of the house cat observes, “Let us just say that our cats do not take instruction well. Such attributes suggest that whereas other domesticates were recruited from the wild by humans who bred them for specific tasks, ancestors of domestic cats most likely chose to live among humans because of opportunities they found for themselves.” 

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