"When the Black Plague devastated Europe in the 14th century, many people assumed it was caused by witchcraft. And cats, with their glowing eyes and night-prowling habits, were thought to be tools of witches. Thousands of cats (and a lot of women thought to be witches) were slaughtered. Scientists later determined that the plague was transmitted by fleas that lived on rats. Had all those cats not been slaughtered, they might have been alive to kill all those rats, which could have vastly reduced the death toll of approximately 30 million."
"Historical Blunders." Uncle John's Triumphant 20th Anniversary Bathroom Reader. Pg. 481. 2007.