Our fondness for cats and their idolization in popular culture far precedes the internet – humans have been lovingly sharing pics of our feline friends since the days of Ancient Egypt. Usually, we prefer to admire cats being cute, funny or majestic. However, there appears to be one period in human history when we enjoyed creating images of them doing something else entirely – licking their butts.

Perhaps there was a certain sense of medieval humor that encouraged this trend. Perhaps it was an admiration of the way cats calmly kept themselves clean in a brutal time of violence, squalor and disease. Or perhaps it is some secret Da Vinci code giving hints as to the location of the Holy Grail.

Either way, it is good for a laugh in our day and age. This hilarious and weird quirk of the medieval art world was first noticed on the Tumblr Discarding Images, and it has been baffling people ever since.

Scroll down below to check out the best of cats licking their butts below, and let us know what you think in the comments!

#1

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Give me a beagle any day... 3 weeks ago

Why does this once look like that cat was sketched on much later by someone else? And why is jesus so damn stoned ? That man is high--look at his eyes!

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Cats have been our faithful friends for a long time, well before even medieval times. According to Smithsonian.com, it has taken some time to piece together the riddle of cats and their domestication; they have come to a tentative conclusion that we have lived side-by-side with them for around 12,000 years.

“Some clues first came from the island of Cyprus in 1983, when archaeologists found a cat’s jawbone dating back 8,000 years, they write. “Since it seemed highly unlikely that humans would have brought wild cats over to the island (a spitting, scratching, panic-stricken wild feline would have been the last kind of boat companion they would have wanted), the finding suggested that domestication occurred before 8,000 years ago.”

#2

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Loki’s Lil Butter Knife 3 weeks ago

Who knew that our ancestors were making “I can has cheeseburger” cat memes long before the invention of the Internet. I suppose even monks got bored...

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#3

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Rowlie 3 weeks ago

At least the cat will die so fresh and so clean

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“In 2004, the unearthing of an even older site at Cyprus, in which a cat had been deliberately buried with a human, made it even more certain that the island’s ancient cats were domesticated and pushed the domestication date back at least another 1,500 years.”

#4

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Sherri Steinert-Brown 3 weeks ago

What the hell!!!

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#5

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Kathy Baylis 3 weeks ago (edited)

Armor-Plated Catadillos?

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More recently, a study published in the research journal Science secured more pieces in the cat-domestication puzzle based on genetic analyses. “All domestic cats,” the authors declared, “descended from a Middle Eastern wildcat, Felis sylvestris, which literally means “cat of the woods.”

Cats were first domesticated in the Near East, and some of the study authors speculate that the process began up to 12,000 years ago.

#6

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Sherri Steinert-Brown 3 weeks ago

The Gene Simmons of butt licking. Not sure I slept his last name right but you get the jest

#7

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Rafael Castro 3 weeks ago

CREEPY

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So there you have it. We have lived together with our feline friends for millennia, yet they still act like they hardly know us half of the time!

#8

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Give me a beagle any day... 3 weeks ago

Did cats really look so different back then? Half of these cats in these photos so far look like foxes, or ferrets, or badgers, but NOT like cats! Is it just me???

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#9

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Sherri Steinert-Brown 3 weeks ago

The yoga way very challenging

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#10

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Rowlie 3 weeks ago

Every cat has a different eating habits, I see

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#11

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Rowlie 3 weeks ago

This mouse is very zen about it

#12

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Daria Z 3 weeks ago

Censored! lol

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#13

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Ashley Maurer 2 weeks ago

One of the ones thats actually licking its leg for once

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#14

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Kathy Baylis 3 weeks ago

Still Life of Cat Licking Nether Regions While Sitting on Bellows?

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