What is it about cats and the Middle Ages?
Practical yet feared creatures, cats were great for catching mice, but people also believed they carried evil around with them. And even catching mice could be seen as a cursed activity, a sure sign medieval cats really couldn't catch a break. Public opinions about cats could get so terrible that felines were even persecuted at times during the Middle Ages - an activity sanctioned by the Papacy itself.
The complex relationship medieval people had with cats influenced how people represented them in works of art. Medieval cat paintings, cats showing up in engravings, and cats depicted in illuminated manuscripts provide insight into how felines were viewed in history.
To celebrate this strange relationship of the time, we rounded up the best medieval cat images around. Entertaining, a bit befuddling, and pretty darn interesting, they all feature fantastic felines from the Middle Ages through the mid-16th century.
- 1122 VOTES
A Cat Playing A Fiddle (c. 1320-1330 CE)
- 2124 VOTES
A Cat Playing A Cymbal (Late 13th Century)
- 381 VOTES
A Cat Carrying A Mouse (1515 CE)
- 4115 VOTES
Cross-Eyed And Cute (14th Century)