Here is the actual quote from Les Misérables that I was referring to yesterday, which clearly shows Hugo's familiarity with cats:
We all know the habit of cats of hesitating in an open doorway. Which of us has not said to a cat, ‘Well, come in if you want to?’ There are men who, in moments when a decision is called for, hover uncertainly like the cat, at the risk of being crushed by the closing of the door. These cautious spirits may run greater risks than those who are more daring. Fauchelevent was by nature one of them, but Valjean’s imperturbability was too much for him.
Hugo, Victor (2003-04-24). Les Miserables (Classics) (Kindle Locations 8227-8231). Penguin Classics. Kindle Edition.