Image credit Artcyclopedia, who linked to Victoria and Albert Museum, A Turkish School in the Vicinity of Cairo, John Frederick Lewis, 1865, watercolor on paper, 13" x 17", held by Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK.
And the kitty close-up, from over there at the right foreground:
The familiar Victorian schoolroom scene is transposed to Egypt, where the cat had ruled supreme for millennia, so it is only right that the animal should be accorded pride of place, in a sunny spot next to the schoolmaster.
My thinking is, well, duh--of course the cat gets to sit up front! But moreover, this painting is a busy kaleidoscope of colors and themes. It is simply a busy, busy scene...whose fervor is so nicely tempered by the serene presence of the kitty up front with the master.
[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!]