Then your nine lives of the humble kitten who only wished to help mankind by killing rodents that transported disease took a significant flip for the worse during the middle ages. Where witch hunts and losing at the stake were typical. Somebody who didn't like pet cats somehow connected them to witches plus they were burnt at the stake with there owners. The way they made that interconnection I'll never know. It started off with Pope Gregory IX in the 1232 who regarded the common house kitty as diabolical. Then to make things even worse in1484 along emerged the greatest kitten killer ever, Pope Innocent VIII, who decreed something such as all cats came from hell and really should returned to the fires of hell by flames. Pet cats were mercilessly prosecuted and were burnt so they would return to the fires of hell. It really is amazing any survived because if you were caught with a kitty you were burnt alongside one another. I still go to cathedral and sometimes I simply wonder why. And of course the Black Loss of life was in the backdrop surviving and thriving because there have been no felines to kill the rats that transported the fleas that brought on the disease. Then along emerged the cat's savior King Louis XIII of France, who in the 1630s repealed the law and cats once more began to live. However they were still hated and killed for many centuries from then on. I have no idea if the Dark colored Loss of life subsided but cats once again protected mankind up against the diseases carried by rodents. As well as the famines due to mice plagues.
I think one of the reasons there were few cats around is basically because they used to eat them. And once in a while the restaurant kitten catches would pick up an kitten they may find and take them back again to the restaurant. I remember seeing pet cats in glass shows out the front of the restaurants. But somewhere between then and today they prohibited eating cats. So cats are now not on the menu and today there are cats everywhere. Many of them started off in someone's house and received thrown away, as a general rule are extremely friendly. Also they have this thing about tummy worms. And in those times China was not as modern as now so belly worms is a problem. Fleas aren't a really problem because they have got tile flooring and solid wood furniture.