Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Friday 15 January |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Nikolaus Gross
home iconArt & Culture
line break icon

The cat who “wrote” on a 15th-century manuscript


Emir O. Filipovic | Twitter | Fair Use

Daniel Esparza - published on 05/19/17

Cat owners are not surprised.

While going through the delicate pages of an early Renaissance manuscript at the University of Sarajevo, professor Emir O. Filipovic, a lecturer on Medieval Bosnian history, discovered several pages of the text were stained with what appeared to be the inkprints of a cat, as read in this article published by National Geographic back in March 2013. It seems while the copyist took a break, the cat must have jumped on to the desk, spilled the ink jar and then simply walked on the paper. The Renaissance equivalent of having the cat walking on the computer keyboard.

The scholar took a picture of the folio, with the intention of showing it to his peers and friends. He sent it to a colleague via Twitter in September 2012 and, for reasons only the internet understands, the image went viral a year later.

While the image itself is a good meme, the important thing is that this kind of curiosity sparks the interest of many young people (be they scholars or not) in medieval and Renaissance studies. And kittens, of course. Lots of kittens.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on Y...
Bret Thoman, OFS
An exorcist teaches 4 steps to forgive
Philip Kosloski
What is the Holy Cloak of St. Joseph?
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Why God loves ordinary stuff: Pope Francis' r...
POPE FRANCIS; Ash Wednesday
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Vatican: Imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday...
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the family of 12 siblings with a very sp...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.