Images of medieval cats

Book of Hours - Harley-6563-f.-40-Cat-playing-a-rebec ‘Cat playing a rebec’ from Book of Hours (S.E. England, c1320-c1330),
shelfmark Harley 6563 f. 40, © British Library Board.


Harley 6563 f. 72 Book of Hours - Cat in a tower ‘Cat in a tower, throwing stones down at attacking mice’ from Book of Hours
(S.E. England, c1320-c1330), shelfmark Harley 6563 f. 72, © British Library Board.


 Harley 6563   ff. 43v-44   Grotesques ‘Marginal grotesques, arms, and marginal paintings of a cat playing an instrument, and a rabbit beating a drum’ from Book of Hours (S.E. England, c1320-c1330),
shelfmark Harley 6563 ff. 43v-44, © British Library Board.


Harley 928   f. 44v   Cat and mouse ‘A cat with a mouse’ from Book of Hours (the ‘Harley Hours’) (England, Last quarter of the 13th century), shelfmark Harley 928 f. 44v, © British Library Board.


Harley 3244   f. 49v   Cat and mouse ‘A cat and a mouse’ from Theological miscellany, including the Summa de vitiis, (England, 2nd or 3rd quarter of the 13th century, after c. 1236),
shelfmark Harley 3244 f. 49v, © British Library Board.


 Harley 4751   f. 30v  ‘Cats and mouse’ from Bestiary, with extracts from Giraldus Cambrensis on Irish birds, (South England, 2nd quarter of 13th Century), shelfmark Harley 4751 f.30v, © British Library Board.


All digital images from the British Library’s Online Images archive appear by courtesy of the British Library Board and may not be reproduced (© British Library Board).

Further reading
Katherine Meikle Walker, Medieval Cats, (London, 2011).
Katherine Meikle Walker, Medieval Pets, (London, 2012).


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You may also be interested in the following
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2 Responses to Images of medieval cats

  1. Neil Bates says:

    This was really fun to look at, and something typically not shown much in say, history or art surveys. What really cracks me up, many of the cat faces have that “typical Medieval look” to them, with not much adjustment for being cats! It’s unfortunate that cats weren’t as appreciated in that period as they deserved to be, for their hunting of vermin.

  2. I told my friend my cat had brought in a live mouse a few eveings ag and knowing I am a devote of medieval history as well as cats, she sent me this. She is a devote of Essex being an Essex Girl. Can I havea copy of the cts with mice?

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