Image credit The Athenaeum, The Falcon, Pierre Subleyras, 1732, 13" x 11", held by Musee du Louvre, Paris, France.
And naturally, the kitty close-up from the right side:
This painting depicts the final scene of The Falcon, one of Jean de la Fontaine's tales. A wealthy widow has called upon her young suitor to ask if he will make a gift of his prize possession--a falcon--to her ill son, who has been asking for it. Unfortunately, the destitute young man has had to sacrifice the bird in order to cook a decent meal to impress his love.
The dog looks up at the couple declaring their love for each other, but the cat seems oddly impassive, staring straight ahead and ignoring the tender moment. In its role as pampered pet, perhaps it echoes the elegant woman, while the faithful dog reflects the adoration of her lover.
My thoughts? The cat just doesn't give a crap about all this drama...a typical kitty, saying "I'll just wait here for milk or other treats, because that's what my people do for me."
[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art. You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]