Behind the cat butts

People often ask me where I get my ideas for my designs. In the case of the cat jewelry series, as longtime cat mom (of 20-year-old Bella, pictured), it would seem that she would have been my inspiration for the design. She does have the requisite cat flexibility and is frequently found in butt-grooming position.

my cat bella

Luttrell psalterHowever, my inspiration not actually come from my own family feline, but rather from perusing illustrations of medieval illuminated manuscripts, which have fascinated me for many years.

Illuminated manuscripts were usually prayer books made for (literate, wealthy) individuals in the middle ages.

Particularly expensive volumes were heavily illustrated and include many whimsical animal drawings. The animals were primarily used to illustrate metaphors.

Cats were very common in Europe the middle ages, however, they were really only just tolerated for their usefulness in regards to vermin rather than appreciated or valued as members of the household.

cat mouse

Due to the natural independence of cats, they are not as easily trained as dogs and to medieval European Christians, that made them suspect. Cats were considered to be creatures of the devil, the  friends of witches (or witches in disguise) and the superstition that crossing a black cat was widespread. 

cat with red glowing eyes

 There were a lot of cats present in these illuminated manuscripts, but they were there to symbolize evildoers.

cat licking butt on illuminated manuscript

And maybe perversion. 

cats licking butts

They were really a lot of these cats.

cats licking butts

All licking their butts.

cat licking butt

Makes you wonder why they kept drawing them. 

cat licking butt

In their prayer books.

cats in medieval manuscript

Maybe the artists just thought that cats licking their butts (right in your face) was just as hilarious as we do now.

 
weird cat gif

Which brings me to my cat jewelry design. 

black cat earrings wood cat necklace

At some point, I had really gone through an internet cat-butt wormhole. 

I had just designed my wolf jewelry and I wanted to follow it up with another animal. And I'd seen all of these ridiculous medieval cats licking their bums and thought it would be really funny to make jewelry like that. I didn't think anyone other than me would like them. 

I was wrong. Apparently there are a lot of people who share my sense of humor, especially when it comes to cats and their grooming habits. So thank you to all my fellow cat people! 

wiggly cat

xo, Kaelen