My master, Mr. Whittington (I wouldn’t think of calling him Dick) is badly abused by the cook. For all my life on the street, I have never met such an ill-natured hussy. When she’s not basting or roasting, she’s beating Mr. Whittington senseless. He bought me for a penny to take care of the rats and mice in the garret. Needless to say, I am very well fed. He hides me in a safe niche, and treats me as if I were the world’s greatest treasure—which, I intend to prove, I am.
Dick Whittington’s Cat in The History of Dick Whittington, Blue Fairy Book