That was the price of admission in the 18th century zoo in England. A dog or cat to feed the lions!
The ‘menagerie’ as it was called back then was first opened to the public by Queen Elizabeth I in the 16th century. It contained a collection of animals, many which were gifts from foreign rulers.
During the 18th century, there were two ways in which you could get admission into the zoo. You could either pay 3 and a half pence or bring along a dog or cat as lion food.
So it’s quite possible it could have been raining cats and dogs at the zoo!