It seems to be a cliche cherished by folks who write books about cats that Louis Pasteur is at least partly responsible for the popularity of the cat. His demonstration that disease is often connected with dirt is supposed to have impressed people with the virtues of the cat, like their cleanliness. Pasteur's ideas gained fame when he successfully saved a child bitten by a rabid dog by using his rabies vaccine.
This event happened on July 6, 1885. 1885, way after Richelieu (17th century), Walpole (18th century) and Baudelaire, (died in 1867) famous cat lovers all, and lots of nameless cat lovers who blush unseen, by the hearth and the cat. The cat they value for its rodent catching abilities if nothing else. I would not name these books, even were they not legion.