Re: Cats in live manger scene...
I do not think I would bring my housecat who was unaccustomed to strange areas, strange animals and not used to containment on a leash.
One of my favorite Christmas stories I read was a children's book about a mother cat who had her litter of kittens in a stable. Some cruel kids threw a rock at her one day and it hit her paw, making it swollen and sore. She had difficulty hunting after that.
She came home to her stable after a night of unsuccessful hunting to find some people in the stable. They had a baby who was crying because it was cold. The family had stuffed hay into a manger and placed the baby in the hay, but it was still cold and the baby was crying. The mother cat walked up to look at the baby, then looked at the baby's mother and then hopped into the manger with the baby. She snuggled next to the baby to share some of her warmth with him and began to purr.
It was only a few minutes and the cat's warmth and purring had lulled the baby to sleep. The mother cat got up to go to her own litter of kittens that needed nursing and the baby's mother noticed the swollen paw and the mother cat limping. The woman reached out and touched the cat's forehead in thanks for comforting her baby. As she did so, the cat's paw was healed and her forehead was permanantly marked with an "M" for Jesus' mother, Mary.
...And that is how the tabby cats got their "M".