Medieval people often persecuted cats and at the same time kept them as pets and needed them to control rats and mice. I visited Romieu a medieval town in France that is filled with delightful sculptured cats. The story goes that during a famine in the 1340s, the townspeople resorted to eating their cats. One girl hid her pets in the attic. The famine passed, rats overran the town, and the young girl’s cats were released to save the town.
To read about the burning of the cats as part of a midsummer festival, please nominate my Kindle Scout novel: