Our fondness for funny cats and their idolization in popular culture far precedes the internet - humans have been lovingly sharing cat drawings 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 humor in the medieval art 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 the cat paintings are some secret Da Vinci code giving hints as to the location of the Holy Grail.
Either way, this weird art is good for a laugh in our day and age. This hilarious quirk of medieval paintings 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 medieval cats licking their butts below, and let us know what you think in the comments!
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.”
“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.”
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.
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!