Mediaeval people across most of Europe didn't much care for cats...especially black cats.
It was generally considered that the Devil could transform himself into a black cat whenever he chose and would appear at satanic rituals...a Walter Map explained in 1180 that 'The Devil descends as a black cat among his devotees...they feel after him and when they've found him, they kiss him under the tail'
Witches and black cats went together of course...witches were thought to be able to shape shift into a cat and the Pope in 1484 said 'the cat was the devils favourite animal and the idol of all witches'
When the Templar's were put on trial in the early 1300's part of the accusations against them was they allowed cats into their services and even prayed to them sometimes...
So cats were not particularly popular...but they were needed to keep the mouse and rat population down so they were...for the most part...tolerated. So why the dislike of the cat ? The people of Mediaeval times were ruled by the Church and the Church stated quite clearly that animals were created by God to serve and to be ruled by humans...and anyone who has ever had a pet cat will know you can't make your pet cat do anything it doesn't want to do...you can't always keep your pet either. I once had a little grey cat who disappeared one day. About six months later I was standing in our neighbours farmyard when I saw...my little grey cat. She'd moved house and had gone to live with the neighbours...who were very fond of her indeed...they'd thought her a stray.
But if Western Europeans didn't like cats, the Middle Eastern Mediaeval peoples did. They had pet cats who were well treated and cared for and there were even charities in the cities which took care of the stray cat population.
Over the years I've had many pet cats of all different shapes and colours...some stand out in memory as having been especially lovable or having huge personalities...I once had a Siamese who would sit beside me and swipe, with his claws out, anyone who dared to sit next to me or even to touch me...another cat had been a stray and she used to suckle from the old Spaniel...kneading away with her paws and making slurping noises...and another stray, a striking Tortoiseshell, used to suck peoples ear lobes...didn't matter who they were so long as they sat still. And most people were thoroughly alarmed, could you get it off please Sue? became a familiar refrain.
Given the choice of a tiny mewling kitten or a plump puppy I'll go for the kitten every single time...I like a cats slight aloofness...I like the fact my cats go exploring every night through the fields and across the old stone walls to come back the following morning ready for a tin of Whiskas...I like their independence and their haughty airs and their secret lives.