Cat on a wet tile roof: feline paw print 2,000 years old discovered

Had Tennessee Williams been writing 2,000 years ago, he might have coined the name of his play differently to reflect the times. At least, that’s what a recent discovery suggests.

Researchers in Gloucester, England accidentally discovered a feline paw print on a type of tile—tegula—dated approximately 100 A.D., according to the BBC.

"Dog paw prints, people's boot prints, and even a piglet's trotter print have all been found on tiles from Roman Gloucester, but cat prints are very rare," Councilor Lise Noakes, from Gloucester City Council, told the BBC.

The tile, made of baked clay that hardened in the sun, was dug up in 1969, and rediscovered in June by a researcher writing a paper on Roman roof tiles near Gloucester, David Rice, Gloucester City Museum Curator, told NEWStat.

“[At the time, Gloucester had] rich Roman citizens who may have had pet cats,” Rice said. “[Gloucester] was also a port and would have had warehouses that attracted vermin so encouraging hunting cats might have been useful.”

Photo courtesy of Gloucester City Museum

NEWStat Interesting/unusual