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Ugly Cat, or Spiteful Artist?

Medieval depictions of cats are often pretty ugly, possibly because many are doodles by monks who were scribes, not artists. Or they were drawn or painted by an artist who didn't like cats. This particular cat seems to be the victim of both lack of talent and lack of respect. It's from a 14th century version of Roman de Renart, a French collection of poems that tell animal stories. The poor creature is obviously polydactyl to an absurd degree. His eyes are crossed, and his tongue hangs out. We laugh at cats that display any of these unfortunate characteristics. Was it for laughs, or a real disdain for cats? What's even worse, the poor cat reminds me of a kid I know. This came from a collection of Ugly Medieval Cats at Buzzfeed. -via Nag on the Lake

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