Image credit MutualArt.com, here. Jan Fyt, Still Life With Gun and Cat (or Game and Hunting Gear Discovered by a Cat), c. 1650, Oil on canvas, 37" x 48", held by The Louvre, Paris, France.
This "harlequin" cat, alive and active alongside the dead game, is a brilliant, credible presence, and analogous to similar cats in paintings of pantries and kitchens.
Pantries? Kitchens? Duh!--hanging around these places is a no-brainer for any self-respecting cat. I really think that in this painting the cat is trying to figure out how the gun works, knowing that it would make a difference to cats everywhere.