16 January 2014

15th century cat: "I could pee on that!"

A Deventer scribe, writing around 1420, found his manuscript ruined by a urine stain left there by a cat the night before. He was forced to leave the rest of the page empty, drew a picture of a cat and cursed the creature with the following words:
“Hic non defectus est, sed cattus minxit desuper nocte quadam. Confundatur pessimus cattus qui minxit super librum istum in nocte Daventrie, et consimiliter omnes alii propter illum. Et cavendum valde ne permittantur libri aperti per noctem ubi cattie venire possunt.”
[Here is nothing missing, but a cat urinated on this during a certain night. Cursed be the pesty cat that urinated over this book during the night in Deventer and because of it many others [other cats] too. And beware well not to leave open books at night where cats can come.]
From Medieval Fragments, via Erik Kwakkel.


  1. Deventer is a nice historic city (not as nice as Amersfoort of course :-), I enjoyed my visits to Deventer very much, the city is full of charming old buildings.

  2. Precious! Made me LOL.
    Now I can use "Confundatur pessimus cattus" when cursing at my cat. That's going to throw him off!

  3. Not a very good cat drawing.
    This Kangaroo looks better:

  4. It's been my experience that a better title for the book would have been "I Could Sit On That." My cat seems to think it his duty to plant his backside on every available surface, even if only for a moment.

  5. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/08/a-boogert_n_5283522.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000063 Saw this article and thought it would be interesting for your blog.

    1. The only thing keeping that (and more of Kwakkel's posts) off my blog is a lack of time, not a lack of interest. Thank you for thinking of me.


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