I thoroughly enjoyed the informative article, Tink...and SO glad the Egyptians realized a cat belonged in their pantheon...I have always loved cats...and this speculation as to the timing of their 'domestication' really makes sense!
"When humans were predominantly hunters, dogs were of great use, and thus were domesticated long before cats. Cats, on the other hand, only became useful to people when we began to settle down, till the earth and—crucially—store surplus crops. With grain stores came mice..."
...and I grieve their association with evil, the article even mentions the (controversial) idea that persecuting them may have contributed to the spread of the Black Plague, allowing for proliferation of the rats bearing the fleas infected with Yersinia pestis.
More from your article... "And yet, even in our popular culture, a bit of the age-old ambivalence remains. The cat doesn't seem to be able to entirely shake its association with evil: After all, how often do you see a movie's maniacal arch-villain, as he lounges in a comfy chair and plots the world's destruction, stroke the head of a Golden Retriever?"
And who can forget the movie BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE? If you are my age anyway...could Pyewacket ever be portrayed by that same Golden Retriever?
"In the Hollywood film Bell, Book and Candle (1958) Pyewacket is the name of the brown sealpoint Siamese cat/familiar of a witch, Gillian Holroyd, played by Kim Novak."
Here you go, have a happy National Cat Day from Pyewacket...