"A man's sentiments with regard to cats are a kind of token of his age," begins this digest of a London Saturday Review article from 1882 found in the New York Times archives. It goes on to wax philosophical about the cat loving traits of many nations, the Lithuanian piije, the Turkish puschik. Africa, not Egypt, might be the cradle of the fully domesticated cat, and once archeologists found the tomb of Calpurnia Felicula ("Calpurnia Pussy"), but that monument is lost now.
The article goes all over the map but you can see it in a pdf here. (Just make it bigger if it comes out really small)