1. Because it's funny.When you finish looking at Number 2, allow yourself a mental drum roll before you look at Number 1. I believe the Lord has a sense of humor, as illustrated by his creatures (including humans). So go ahead, laugh. You know you want to.
2. I'm a cat lady (not too crazy, as I limit myself to two).
3. Because most of the original manuscript illuminations came from medieval religious books, painted by monastic artists.
4. Life is hard. We need to think more about the universal human experience (such as people 800 years ago surviving an even harder life than we have, yet delighting in the absurdity of a cat licking its behind, heedless of its audience), and sending their amusement down to us. Thank you. Gratefully received.
Top 10 Medieval Butt-Licking CatsThe nastiest habit of medieval cats seen via illuminated manuscripts.
10. Regular licking
Thomas of Cantimpré, Liber de natura rerum, France ca. 1290 (Valenciennes, Bibliothèque municipale, ms. 320, fol. 72r)
9. Licking and mouse-hunting
Ashmole Bestiary, England 13th century (Bodleian Library, MS. Ashmole 1511, fol. 35v)
8. Licking, mouse-hunting and bird-stealing
Bestiary, England 13th century (Bodleian Library, MS. Bodl. 764, fol. 51r)
7. Hey cat! Stop licking your butt on the Book of Maccabees or you’ll get an arrow!
below the cat: 1Maccabees 16:18-20. Bible, France 13th century (Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire de Lausanne, U 964, fol. 376r)
6. Otter-like cat
Bestiary, England 15th century (København, Kongelige Bibliotek, GkS 1633 4º, fol. 28v)
5. Devil and the cat worshippers licking the cat’s butt
Jean Tinctor, Traittié du crisme de vauderie (Sermo contra sectam vaudensium), Bruges ca. 1470-1480 (Paris, BnF, Français 961, fol. 1r)
4. Prayerbook cats
Hours of Charlotte of Savoy, Paris ca. 1420-1425 (NY, Morgan Library & Museum, MS M.1004, fol. 125r, 172r)
3. Weirdly long tongue
Book of Hours, Lyon, ca. 1505-1510 (Lyon, BM, Ms 6881, fol. 30r)
2. Villard’s cat
Sketchbook of Villard de Honnecourt, France ca. 1230 (BnF, Français 19093, fol. 7v)
1. Licking Cat of Apocalypse
Christ on Majesty flanked by two angels blowing trumpets of the Last Judgement and a little grey guy licking its butt. Missal, Bavaria ca. 1440-1460 (New York Public Library, MA 112, fol. 7r)
Read the original Discarding Images blog here: http://discardingimages.tumblr.com/post/122257539403/top-10-medieval-butt-licking-catsTop Ten Medieval Butt-Licking Cats