With regard to the eye blink thing - I do believe it is communicating affection. If you get your cat's attention and do it to them, (a slow, leisurely blink, repeated) I think they get the message. I do it with my kittehs.
What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!
As it has been told to me: Cats are the only domesticated animals that chose us rather than the other way around. See, we supplied granaries which were merely bait for vermin. Cats realized our small cities were good hunting grounds and moved in. They stay because it's convenient. Now, we supply heated homes in addition to food and nice places to sleep. They have to do relatively little. Were things to change, I think cats would move out, mass exodus style.
I agree, cats are the only animal that domesticated itself. People didn't march out into the woods to capture kittens to keep their homes free of mice. It was only after the cats moved in that they noticed the benefit of warm laps and mouse free homes.
I do think that IT dorks who work 36/7 sometimes but are not stupid or without humor found the perfect pet in a cat. And then they took that to the virtual streets.
An extreme case: 4Chan, that board founded on a bizarre mixture of anime and porn, had a couple of case in which some a-hole posted a video of cat torture. The 4Chan dorks sprung into action, locating the IP address and physical location of The Atrocity and restored justice. All for a cat.