|Cheetahs and their small cousins|
The Greek playwright Sophocles wrote numerous plays, such as the famous Oedipus Rex. The majority of his plays have been lost, existing only in a few scattered fragments. In one of these fragments one of the characters asks, “Is it likely the cat grows up into a leopard?”
The obvious answer is “No,” but the “leopard” referred to here might actually have been the cheetah, the “hunting leopard” that the Greeks had semi-tamed to go after game. Cheetahs could be walked on leashes and more or less became pets (for the wealthy, at least). Cheetah cubs are about the size of adult house cats, and it is possible that in some Greek households the cats and cheetah cubs played together.