Cats were often present in households of the past, mostly for utilitarian purposes. Kept in the kitchen areas to hunt for mice and rats, they endeared themselves first to the "downstairs help". It was only a matter of time before the cat made its silent way upstairs and comfortably settled in higher, warmer and more posh surroundings. They are especially favoured amongst writers for their low maintenance and quiet nature. My husband Brian, even surrounded by dogs, remains a fervent cat lover.
Here are a few photographs of Victorian ladies and their cats (much less common than Victorian dogs) from Montreal's McCord Museum .