In Latin, of course. (Hey, it’s our duty to be highbrow.)
“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.”
Pretty impressive, eh? I can’t take credit for the rant against the “confounded pissant cattus” (which I think translates to “stinking feline”). No, cats were pissing off (literally and figuratively) hardworking folks ages ago…Middle Ages ago:
…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:[ths: Insert Latin passage seen above] [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.]
Wise words, as anyone with a cat in the house will attest to.
There’s a photo of the blemished page, complete with kitty illustration AND stain (!), at this WONDERFUL blog post titled: “Paws, Pee and Mice: Cats among Medieval Manuscripts“.
It starts off with a photo of a recently found 15th century manuscript, complete with…inky cat paw tracks across the pages…
— Emir O. Filipovic (@EmirOFilipovic) September 27, 2012
Jangling your keyboard seems kinda quaint by comparison, doesn’t it?
Go read. It’s FUN.