The cat is a quadraped mammal of the genus, Felis. They are effective hunters, being valued in period and since for their ability to reduce vermin. However domesticated cats were less common than dogs during the medieval period as cats were very often regarded with suspicion. Cats were sometimes contained in wicker effigies and burnt because they were perceived as manifestations of evil. They were also skinned on occasions for their fur, either for warmth or as decoration and fashion accessory and in times of famine they provided meat for the table (in a rather terminal way).