Ph.D. neuroscience candidate Shannon Odell is back for the season finale of Your Brain on Blank, and this time she’s going for broke. It’s the much-requested kitten episode, and that’s something that can’t be taken lightly.

Shannon helps us to better understand domestic cats, or Felis silvestris if you’re fancy, by delving into how house cats came into existence. According to an article in Science in 2007, cats domesticated themselves when they discovered that living in tandem with humans was extremely beneficial to their survival. Why go out into the wilderness to hunt when you can have your food brought to you by unsuspecting humans?

Cats also outperform other cats in the critical metric of most popular household pet, only losing the war to freshwater fish — which is probably because a freshwater fish is one step up from a rock on the low-maintenance pet ladder.

But the real question that needs to be answered is this: What is it about kittens that makes us love them so much? Well, it’s most likely because of baby schema, the same mechanism that makes us love babies so much.

The human brain is wired to take care of infants — the livelihood of the species depends on it — and as a result, that wiring is very strong and easily triggered to avoid any false negatives. If your brain took a look at a baby, for instance, and classified it as “not a baby” because it was ugly, that would probably lead to a beautiful batch of short-lived humans. Instead, our brains classify a lot of things as babies, like kittens. These furbabies have trojan-horsed their way into our brains by looking similar to human babies. It’s not like they did it on purpose or anything, but they certainly benefit from the confusion.

Shannon also reveals some mind-blowing facts about kittens’ purring, their preferences for women over men, and their overall attitude towards people. (Spoiler: It’s actually pretty heartwarming.)

Check out the whole episode for about five minutes of the cutest cat footage you’re gonna see on Inverse, and a whole bunch of facts about the brain.

This episode was made possible only with the help of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and we’d like to highlight their Meow for Now campaign.

SpaceX is gearing up to send humans into space for the first time. On Monday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed a report that claimed NASA estimates the firm will be ready for people-carrying space adventures as early as April of next year. While a good sign for the company’s Mars mission, a successful human test flight would also enable a new method of sending people to the International Space Station.

In modern society, you can be lazy and not face much consequence. Don’t want to cook? Order Seamless. Don’t want to move? Call a Lyft. But according to a controversial new study, the same could not be said for Homo erectus, an ancient relative of our species. In the study, scientists claim that H. erectus went extinct because it existed in a constant state of meh.

During their 3,000-year dominance over Mesoamerica, the Mayans built elaborate architectural structures and developed a sophisticated, technologically progressive society. But immediately after reaching the peak of its powers over the entire Yucatan Peninsula, the Mayan Empire collapsed, falling apart in just 150 years. The reasons for its sudden demise remain a mystery, but in a new Science study, scientists find clues buried deep in the mud of Lake Chichancanab.

A new study has finally offered an explanation for Jupiter’s trippy colors and unusual swirls. These gaseous swirls have become the most recognizable aspect of the giant planet but also one of its most puzzling features. A team of scientists says they now understand what causes the planet’s distinctive color bands and why these swirls behave the way they do.

The Parker Solar Probe is already considered one of NASA’s most ambitious missions, but the agency isn’t taking chances when it comes to potential glitches. Minutes before the Parker Solar Probe was scheduled for liftoff, NASA called off the launch, postponing the high-stakes operation for at least another day.

The probe has seen prior delays but this was the first rescheduling to take place at the last minute. In the weeks leading up to liftoff, the agency remained confident in the August 11 launch date, especially after NASA revealed its new and improved heat shield, or Thermal Protection System. However, rather than problems with the heat shield, NASA announced on Saturday that the launch was postponed due to a glitch in the spacecraft’s Delta IV Heavy rocket.