Cat Behavior 101,  Cats

Paw Prints in Unexpected Places

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

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Cats love walking on computer keyboards, newspapers and whatever else we happen to be reading or working on. While Erik Kwakkel, a Medieval book historian at the University of Dubrovnik was working a Medieval manuscript he came across the telltale signs of paw prints. The scribe wrote in the margin, cursing the cat who left its mark by ink and pee. What intrigues me is: what was a cat doing in the monastery? This was during the Witch Hunt, when cats were thought to be in league with the devil.


The only paw prints my cats have left lately are in the snow. What a difference two years make. Former feral Domino still loves his snow time but now his thick coat is sleek and healthy.

cat-snow-paw print-domino

Odin, who must have been a Malamute in his past life, goes out in any temperature, seen here gleefully chasing Gris Gris who hates the cold.

Cats-playing-chasing-snow-odin-gris gris

Merlin, Odin and Domino enjoying some winter sunbathing.


Merlin hates the cold but stubbornly insists on a little outdoor whiff if only for two minutes. Here we are enjoying rare, moment warm enough to sunbathe on the porch patiently waiting for spring. Well maybe not so patiently.


If your pets go outdoors on snow or icy surfaces, please do not use rock salt or ice melters. They contain chemicals and are harsh on delicate paws. Use sand or a safe ice melter like Safe Paw If paws get dry and cracked, use a natural pet balm or make your own using almond oil, calendula, coconut oil or shea butter. I use organic coconut oil on Odin which is solid like a butter balm at room temperature. He loves having his toe pads massaged. What a life!

Do your cats leave paw prints in unexpected places?




  • Ice

    If your pet is outdoors for any portion of the winter, it is vitally important to provide shelter, a source of warmth, and fresh, unfrozen food and water.

  • Maxwell, Faraday & Allie

    Mommy shoulda lathered something on us this weekend – who knew Daddy would decide to strip the floors he just polyurethaned! (Mommy’s about to go nuts, BTW. We heard her say so)

    We agree with Gris Gris and Merlin – we do NOT like the cold or the SNOW. *shiver*

  • maggie

    I love the manuscript picture and your Winter cats!
    My cats pretend that they don’t go on the kitchen counters, but the paw prints tell another story.
    In the past I’ve had to do some repair work on illustrations when I forgot to cover my watercolors. I’m careful with that now- and leaving my watercolor water bowl full of clean water- of course that’s the cat’s favorite place to drink!

  • Penelope

    The cat prints in the old manuscript is cool. Mes thinks that some Monk had fallen for a cat!]Me has been outside a couple of times when the sun was out this week, but me really hates the snow.

  • Connie Marie

    Love the photos of the cats in the snow. Domino is so big and fluffy, it’s great. Merlin looks good next to the purple toes. lol
    My feet seem to find their way in pics too.
    I’ve never had cats that like the snow.
    We feed an outdoor kittie, we thought, till we say footprints that looked like a Bobcat size! Not quite cougar size.

  • Cheysuli

    Wow–I think Odin probably can stand the cold cause his namesake was like a Norse God and it probably gets cold in Asgard considering how cold it is in Norway in the winter. I would not go out. I am a Siamese and it does not snow in Siam.

  • Sparky Spitfire

    I always love to see paw prints on car hoods and window. used to drive my dad crazy, but it always made me smile to see a cat going any where it pleased.

    as to cats in monastries – I know a lot of cats were reviled at the time, but not by EVERYone. I’m sure there were plenty of cat lovers who did their best to ignore the zealot morons who screamed “SATAN!” every time they saw a cat. The poem Pangur Ban proves that – a poem about a monk who loves his cat and marvels at how hard he and the cat work at their tasks (the cat hunting for mice, the monk at hunting for the truth in old texts).
    Seems to me, over all these years, things really have not changed at all – there has always been cat lovers and a small, very vocal group of cat haters (see the current “kill the feral cats!” movement). Not that different, really.

  • Kathryn

    So adorable, all those photos of the boys in the snow. So adorable.

    I love Dom Dom and Odin.

    Amazing paw prints in the book!

    The medieval suspicion of the cat was responsible for the massive number of deaths of the plague.

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