Thus Has It Ever Been

Cats are notoriously independent thinkers. There’s a reason faculty meetings are so often compared to herding cats (although it seems to me that the occasional laser dot on a wall would do the trick.) The cats think outside the box.

Unfortunately, that’s not all they do outside the box, if you get my drift. Which brings us to a medieval manuscript dating from about 1420, in what is now the Netherlands. Apparently Fluffy or Mittens expressed his opinion of the scribe with his bladder, which led the scribe to note the damage and add the following complaint and imprecation:

Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam. Confundatur pessimus cattus qui minxit super librum ostum in nocte Daventrie, et consimiliter omnes alii propter illum. Et cavendum valde ne permittantur libri aperti per noctem uni cattie venire possunt.

[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 [other cats] too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.]

Words to live by.

A tip of the Mondo Mortarboard to Rev. James O’Brien, via Facebook.

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About profmondo

Dad, husband, mostly free individual, medievalist, writer, and drummer. "Gladly wolde he lerne and gladly teche."
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