All about medieval pets….
Humans have always kept pets…or so it seems to me, anyway. We simply like to have certain animals around us. I can’t imagine that the likes of rhinos, bulls or camels were ever on anyone’s list of must-have pets, but there have always been cats, dogs, birds and so on.
“…. Pets were a rarity in the medieval world – people in the Middle Ages did keep domestic animals like dogs and cats, but most of them served a purpose. Dogs would be used to guard homes or assist in the hunt, while cats were needed to catch mice and other vermin. Still, the relationship between these animals and their keepers was often an affectionate one….”
The above is a quote from this website, an interesting article with which I am not entirely in accord. I believe pets were far more popular than being rarities. Yes, cats and dogs had to work for their living, but I’ll bet that a lot of them were fussed and cuddled too. It’s human nature, and animals are canny enough to know how to win us over.
Nevertheless, I recommend the link, which is informative…and which contains other links to similar sites about medieval pets.
One of the recommended books is Medieval Pets by Kathleen Walker-Meikle, which I have and can recommend. If you want to know all about our medieval ancestors and their relationships with their pet animals, this is the place to go. There are also separate books by the same author, dealing specifically with cats and dogs.