On the tiger’s coattails

Long before the domestic cat reached Asia, the tiger was already there, impressing humans with its strength and grace—and, no doubt, its occasional eating of human beings. As the domestic cat was carried eastward from Egypt, it met with a warm reception, partly because it was a perceived as a “minitiger” — not as powerful (or dangerous) as its mighty cousin but every bit as graceful and mysterious. Asians could admire and fear the tiger, and admire and love their domestic tigerettes.
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