The cat family split from the other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago, making them one of the oldest mammalian families. This is also the reason they are so distinct and different from many other mammalian families, developing and evolving on their own branch for so long.
If you want a cat to love you, ignore it. Ever notice how the one new person in the room who hates cats is the very person who’s lap a cat will jump into? It’s because they’re ignoring it. In “cat speak” a direct stare is a challenge and a precursor to dominant behaviour, so the cat lover, who is likely to look them in the eye and call them is always the one a cat distrusts, until they get to know them of course.
Cats will blink in the general direction of people they like, in a gesture that says “I’m not staring, I’m not challenging, we’re OK.” With humans they like, this can amount to anything from a handshake to a kiss… so if you want a cat to like you, either ignore it, or give it 2 to 3 slow blinks.