When Emir O. Filipovic was sifting through books from the 15th-century at the Dubrovnik State Archives in Croatia, he discovered that pages in the book appeared to have been marked with four cat paw prints. When Filipovic sent his discovery to historian Erik Kwakkel last year it did not take long for the discovery to go global.
UK newspaper the Daily Mail recently reported on the medieval cat, which by the looks of it, stepped in ink and trundled over the page, confirming that cats have been household pets for more than half a millennium.
The book with the ‘famous” paw prints is part of the ‘Lettere e commissioni di Levante’, an official record of the activities of the Dubrovnik government throughout the Middle Ages.
As the Daily Mail reports, if a government document was disfigured by an animal today it would probably be destroyed and replaced – but back then writing was such an elaborate and expensive exercise that the book could not be wasted.