“The tabaxi (or cat-men, as they are known to most humans) inhabit the far reaches of tropical jungles.” (AD&D Fiend Folio, TSR, 1981) I’m going to roll up a tabaxi adventurer named Kopi Luwak with the Artisan: Barista background, and every night I’ll take the last pre-dawn watch and when the rest of the party wakes up I’ll have a nice cup of joe ready for everyone.
A wizard’s guardian familiar never leaves the treasure it is assigned to protect. It begins as a relatively weak cat but must be defeated 9 times, growing stronger with each rebirth. This has given rise to a popular myth about cats. (Russ Nicholson, AD&D Fiend Folio, TSR, 1981)
Medieval cats are surprisingly like modern cats. Not poisonous, not made of fire, only plotting murder in a casual, passive way. For once the weirdness was all the Renaissance. Here is Bartholomaeus Anglicus describing an average 14th century cat:
led by a straw, and playeth therewith
maketh a ruthful noise and ghastful, when one proffereth to fight with another
unneth is hurt when he is thrown down off an high place*
a right heavy beast in age and full sleepy
*this translation was edited in the 1800s, which is the only possible excuse for ‘unneth’
Here is a cat helping a nun. Yes, it has a face like a tiny skull, but some cats do.