Interesting posts on cats and I like the Egyptian link. In fact, the punishment was pretty harsh back then

Diodorus Siculus said: Whoever kills a cat in Egypt is condemned to death, whether he committed this crime deliberately or not. The people gather and kill him. An unfortunate Roman, who accidentally killed a cat, could not be saved, either by King Ptolemy of Egypt or by the fear which Rome inspired. (Qtd. in Preserved for Posterity, 1997)

But it sounds like we really haven’t changed that much. It just depends on who kills it and their emotional state afterward. If animal control kills it, then it is “societally” accetpable. If they smile when they do it, it’s not.

If we kill cows or chickens, ok, horses and dogs, no, unless it’s by lethal injection or gas at the shelter. Societal preference is a great survival tactic unless you’re not particularly cute and fuzzy.