I love a good pet, but what I really love is a good pet who is also great at murder. Generally, you don’t find too many pets in fantasy stories, because the animals are always some kind of highly intelligent creature from a society of badgers or something.
It’s the same in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, with one very specific exception: Moxie, Will Parry’s pet cat in the second book of the series, The Subtle Knife, who, in addition to being Will’s actual best friend (the kid had a hard life), also saves his life by straight-up murdering a dude.
Oh sure, you can say that she didn’t MEAN to trip a dude down the stairs so hard he dies. Cats get underfoot all the time, after all, but have you ever met a cat? They know exactly what they’re doing at all times. They replicate the cries of infant children so you don’t stop paying attention to them when you bring home a tiny human. You really want to tell me one wouldn’t nonchalantly position itself behind the feet of a man trying to attack its human and just … accidentally murder the crap out of him?
And you think dogs are man’s best friend.