Friday, 7 October 2011

Fewer than nine lives

Medieval Cats, new to OPU's collection this week.

Cats are illustrated in medieval manuscripts throughout the Middle Ages, often in exquisite detail. Medieval cats were viewed as treasured pets, as fearsome mousers, as canny characters in fables, as associates of the Devil and as magical creatures. A medieval cat had fewer than nine lives to toy with - danger was never far around the corner, whether in the form of a fur-trader or by being burnt alive in popular celebrations.

This charming book, published by the British Museum, features an array of fascinating images of cats in medieval manuscripts. The book also includes anecdotes about cats - both real and imaginary - to provide an interesting picture of the life of the cat and its relationship with humans in the medieval world.

(Text adapted from front flap of book)