Judas and the cat

In the New Testament Gospels, Jesus is betrayed by Judas Iscariot, one of his twelve disciples. In artwork this traitor was often shown as a redhead (mostly to distinguish him from the other eleven disciples) and, oddly, was sometimes shown with a cat at his feet. There is no mention of cats in the New Testament, so what is the connection with Judas? Probably the painters were providing a visual illustration of the phrase “turn the cat in the pan” — meaning, to change sides or to be a traitor.
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