If this attitude towards cats dates back generations then one can understand why historians say the Black Death started in China. Where there are rats no cats then the rats dominate and that would have been a precursor for the disease to get near to people. Now whenever i get back to China there are still rats playing around however, not so many in the enclosure estates. There are lots of down by the river. Also they employ a efficient rubbish tidy up system that will keep the locations very clean. Where I stay the rubbish is accumulated everyday. That would also keep carefully the rat people down. And with so many discarded felines running around the rats don't have much of the opportunity. I've never seen this but I believe the government accumulates a great deal of felines. There used to be colonies of stray pet cats surviving in some places but now I don't see them any longer.
Then your nine lives of the humble feline who only wanted to help mankind by getting rid of rodents that taken disease took a significant move for the worse during the dark ages. Where witch hunts and burning at the stake were the norm. Someone who didn't like cats somehow connected these to witches and they were burnt at the stake with there owners. How they made that interconnection I'll never know. It started off with Pope Gregory IX in the 1232 who regarded the common house cat as diabolical. Then to make matters worse in1484 along emerged the greatest pet cat killer ever, Pope Innocent VIII, who decreed something along the lines of all cats came from hell and should returned to the fires of hell by fireplace. Cats were mercilessly prosecuted and were burnt so they would return to the fires of hell. It is amazing any survived because if you were captured with a feline you were burnt mutually. I still go to chapel and sometimes I just wonder why. And undoubtedly the Black Death was in the background surviving and flourishing because there were no pet cats to eliminate the rats that transported the fleas that induced the condition. Then along came the cat's savior Ruler Louis XIII of France, who in the 1630s repealed the law and cats once more started to live. However they were still hated and killed for many hundreds of years from then on. I have no idea if the Black Fatality subsided but felines once again shielded mankind contrary to the diseases transported by rodents. Plus the famines brought on by mice plagues.