Is from the "Eleventh Night" of Straparola's Italian fairy tales, where Constantine's cat procures his master a fine castle and the king's heiress, first translated into French in 1585. Our version is taken from that of Charles Perrault. There is a similar one in the Scandinavian nursery tales. This clever cat secures a fortune and a royal partner for his master, who passes off as the Marquis of Carabas, but is in reality a young miller, without a penny in the world.
The above is from Dr. Brewer's " Dictionary of Phrase and Fable," and goes far to prove the antiquity of what is generally believed to be a modern story, many believing it to be one of the numberless pleasant, amusing, and in a sense instructive nursery or children's stories of the present time.