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This article traces the portrayal of cats in folklore and literature from ancient Egypt to the present. Cats have always been popular nonhuman characters in all kinds of stories, and their attraction must be ascribed to their enigmatic nature, reflected in the various beliefs and prejudices. Cats are portrayed in a vast spectrum of roles, from nature stories, where they are endowed with minimal human intellect and emotions, to fully anthropomorphized figures. A subtle balance of these two polarities produces the most fascinating results. While many folktales and stories feature cats as ingenious helpers to protagonists, a few contemporary authors have employed cats as complex human characters in disguise.