NEWS
LIFESTYLE
FUNNY
WHOLESOME
INSPIRING
ANIMALS
RELATIONSHIPS
PARENTING
WORK
SCIENCE AND NATURE
About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

15th-century manuscript covered in medieval cat’s paw prints show they have been a menace forever

According to Emir O Flipovic, a professor of medieval history at the University of Sarajevo, the picture is from a book that contains copies of letters sent to the envoys and merchants of Dubrovnik.

15th-century manuscript covered in medieval cat’s paw prints show they have been a menace forever
Cover Image Source: Pexels | Photo by Pet foto

If you're a pet parent, you're all too familiar with paw prints on every imaginable surface. Now, imagine seeing those same prints on manuscripts that are hundreds of years old! Emir O. Filipovic, a medieval history professor at the University of Sarajevo, shared a picture on September 27, 2012, of a 15th-century manuscript marred by a cat's paw prints. He wrote on X: "@erik_kwakkel speaking of cars, this is definitely the mark of one angry feline in the State Archives of Dubrovnik."

Representative Image Source: Pexels | Vadim Koza
Representative Image Source: Pexels | Vadim Koza

Cats have been human companions for centuries, often kept to protect food stores in monasteries from rats. Medieval monks also relied on them to keep rodents from nibbling manuscript pages, according to MyModernMet. However, cats sometimes walked over drying ink and even urinated on manuscripts. Filipovic remarked on the paw prints, saying, "I never could have imagined the attention that those prints would subsequently receive," reports National Geographic.

Representative Image Source: Pexles | Heather McKeen
Representative Image Source: Pexles | Heather McKeen

He said that it is not often that researchers find such things while going through “monotonous and dull archival registers.” “But the more time spent scouring manuscripts, the better the chances of stumbling across oddities.” He shared in the comments that the paw prints were found in a book that contains copies of letters sent to the envoys and merchants of Dubrovnik (Lettere di Levante). The professor believes that the picture might interest at least one researcher to find out more about the history of Dubrovnik and “its immediate hinterland and the wider Mediterranean region.” The picture was said to be part of the Interactive Album of Medieval Paleography which is a collection of transcription exercises that is used to help students and amateurs to understand aspects of reading manuscript texts. The album is maintained by historian Marjorie Burghart of the European Association for Digital Humanities and contains manuscripts from the 9th to 15th century.

People were quite intrigued by the manuscript photo. @vacationshari commented, "Brilliant find! I love Dubrovnik almost as much as I love cats! Thanks to @firefall_varuna for sharing!" @julidy1_FLO wrote, "12th-century cat paw prints? This is amazing!"

Another example of cats creating menace in the manuscripts is from 1420. This particular manuscript is stored at The Historisches Archiv in Cologne, Germany, and features two unfinished pages with a picture of a cat and notes on the right side. The notes when translated read, “Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.” The two instances of paw prints on manuscripts prove that cats were as much of a menace back then as they are now. 



 

More Stories on Scoop