Bobkitten, image credit here
Via the always great Mike the Mad Biologist, we find a link to this article at ScienceMag:
About 2000 years ago in what is today western Illinois, a group of Native Americans buried something unusual in a sacred place. In the outer edge of a funeral mound typically reserved for humans, villagers interred a bobcat, just a few months old and wearing a necklace of bear teeth and marine shells. The discovery represents the only known ceremonial burial of an animal in such mounds and the only individual burial of a wild cat in the entire archaeological record, researchers claim in a new study. The villagers may have begun to tame the animal, the authors say, potentially shedding light on how dogs, cats, and other animals were domesticated.
Those crazy native Americans...centuries before domesticated cats arrived from the Old World, these guys knew the value of a good kitty.
The article is much longer than the snippet I excerpted--you really should go and read the whole thing.