Categories: Cat History

Cat Paw Prints on 15th Century Manuscript from Dubrovnik, Croatia

We can thank a teaching and research assistant at the University of Sarajevo, Emir O. Filipović, for this photo of what must be domestic cat paw prints made in ink across a 15th century manuscript from Croatia. They are around 600 years old. Well at that time domestic cats were pretty much the way they are now. There was no commercially available cat food though! They’d be feed human scraps. I wonder what their health was like. Would there be veterinarians? No, I don’t believe so. There may have been some rudimentary veterinary work by some local person but I don’t believe the profession existed at that time. All cats would be indoor/outdoor cats as they’d have to go to the toilet outside. They would most likely be community cats meaning not owned by an individual person but looked after by a group of people.

Cat paw prints across 15th century document

Cats have been walking over our documents for thousands of years. Now they walk over our computer keyboard. Same difference. It’s one of their charms.

“It’s not very often that a researcher can come across curious things while sifting through monotonous and dull archival registers,” Filipović said.

He found it while trawling through archived manuscripts at the University of Sarajevo.

Associated: Roman cat paw print in roof tile.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I am 70-years-of-age at 2019. For 14 years before I retired at 57, I worked as a solicitor in general law specialising in family law. Before that I worked in a number of different jobs including professional photography. I have a longstanding girlfriend, Michelle. We like to walk in Richmond Park which is near my home because I love nature and the landscape (as well as cats and all animals).

View Comments

    • Love this picture. I reckon cats have been walking over our stuff since well before the 15th century. The Romans brought domestic cats to Britain in 200 BC.

    • Great. I have an image in my mind of the person writing this manuscript 600 years ago. He loved cats and accepted the paw prints over his document.

      • I agree!! That would be much like me. . . paw prints and fur -- everywhere!! Kinda tough not to have them with 10 kitties!! But it is pure Heaven for me!! ♥♥♥

    • Good name. I have a cat flap in the kitchen window. Whether that is a good idea or not I am not sure but he leaves muddy paw prints on the kitchen counter top all the time which are easy to remove because they are at counter top height.

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