You know there are certain stereotypes out and about that hint that a single lady with a cat is perhaps a sad person. Lonely. Unloved. It couldn't be further from the truth!
As a single lady and a cat owner, I'm here to tell you that you're never unloved as long as you can tear open a pouch of cat food and wield a kibble dispenser of some kind. Nights are never lonely with a ball of fur lying across that book you're attempting to read and heaven knows, you're never alone in the smallest room in the house if you have a feline chaperone. Never.
It's quite delightful that medieval ladies were also cat lovers. Household accounts and personal letters document their diets and most charmingly tell us of the best kind of cat to get- it's the orange ones, in case you were wondering- and what to expect as a new cat owner. We see them extensively represented in medieval artworks, both as mouse catchers and as pets.
Even nuns might be permitted a small one. In some cases. They were not to be a distraction from spiritual matters though. In the guidebook for nuns, the Ancrene Riwle, it mentions how to keep a cat:
Unless needs compel you, dear sisters, and your director advises it, you must not keep any animal except a cat... Now if someone needs to keep one, let her see to it that it does not annoy anyone or do any harm to anybody, and that her thoughts are not taken up with it. An Anchoress ought not have anything which draws her heart outwards.( Collapse )