Happy Caturday!


It’s that time again. I thought long and hard about what to put here, then one of the lovely ladies from the Crossstitch Forum posted a link to an article about cats and their companionship since the Middle Ages. This had me thinking about cats and as I looked around, I found cats have been getting in the middle of their owner’s work for centuries. Cats and writers go together like peas and carrots.

Image 1_Cats paws
Tell-tale paw prints from a mischevious kitty

This first picture is of a manuscript. By the tell-tale paw prints, you can see that the scribe must have been away from his desk and little fluffy stepped in some ink and proceeded to walk across the page. I’m sure the scribe wasn’t paying enough attention to his feline friend.

Of course it doesn’t stop there. We even have pictures of cats not using the litter box, because they are ornery, independent beasties. The scribe gets the last word because all around the stained page he expresses his frustration and curses the kitty. “My Cat from Hell” wasn’t an option back in those days, so this is probably the best he could do.

Image 2_Cologne, Historisches Archiv, G.B. quarto, 249 fol. 68 r-2
The scribe expresses his frustration around the cat stain

But back then, it was common belief that the animals were on Earth to serve humans. Cats will, however, thoroughly disagree on that sentiment. I know mine will.

Because animals were thought to have a specific purpose, cats not only served as companions but also as pest control. There’s an old saying that when the cat is away, the mouse will play.

Though cats were beloved companions, they were also believed to have Satanic influences. The cat was seen to catch mice much like a little Devil harvesting souls. The difficulty training them was also seen as a devilish influence. I don’t think it’s any dark influence, I think cats are just independent jerks most of the time. They were once viewed as gods and they’ve never forgotten it. And can you blame them?

Image 3_Cat catches mouse
Medieval pest control or Santanic harvester of souls?

Scribe or stitcher, the fact of the matter is that cats have been getting in our way since the beginning of time. But even when they will leave stains on our paper and cat hair in our stitches they are still good friends and companions. And, they will leave paw prints on the heart forever.


All images found via Google Image Search

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