Image credit here (from a local art lover) . Young Woman with Rose and a Cat, c. 1695-1705, Guiseppe Maria Crespi, oil on canvas, 26" x 22", held by Pinacoteca Nazioanle, Bologna, Italy.
The attractive young woman in the painting is teasingly prodding the cat with the prickly stem of a rose. The animal seems to enjoy the attention, with the particular pleasure that cats experience in being caressed in sensitive spots, especially behind the ears, purring loudly in return.
"The animal seems to enjoy the attention" Seems?? You put anything pointy or angular anywhere near a cat's face and the cat is powerless to resist--it'll rub and scratch its cheeks and whiskers against the pointy object almost indefinitely.