with the affirmation of early Christianity around the eighth century, the practice of separating good and evil spread, not only in the ethical and religious perspective of man, but also in the animal kingdom. The cat, as well as other animals (toad, rat, snake, etc.) was cataloged as a manifestation of the devil, because of its independent and lascivious behavior (just think of the heckling that cats in heat) and of his habit of hunting especially at night.
The cat persecuted in the Middle Ages
This is how the cat, until the 13th century AD BC, became one of the most misunderstood and persecuted animals. The persecution also extended to those who, to their misfortune, had a good heart and cared for it. In general, it was women, who were sometimes taxed witchcraft simply because they had a black cat!
To confirm this fact, it is enough to leaf through the judicial chronicles of the time that report the lawsuits: the poor women, subjected to the torture, confessed “spontaneously” to be physically united to a big black cat, incarnation of Beelzebub. It was only towards the end of the “dark” period that we began to depict cat images in family settings. However, it will be a long time before they appear in religious paintings.