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‘My First Paw-Reviewed Article’

In 2013, Thijs Porck wrote a guest blog for 'medievalfragments'...

In 2013, Thijs Porck wrote a guest blog for 'medievalfragments'...

'Medievalfragments' ( https://medievalfragments.wordpress.com/) is the project blog of Erik Kwakkel’s VIDI project ‘Turning Over a New Leaf: Manuscript Innovation in the Twelfth-Century Renaissance’. Two years and seventy thousand views later, the blog has been published in TICA TREND, the glossy magazine of The International Cat Association (TICA).

Fabulous felines

Porck: ‘About a year ago, I received an e-mail from The International Cat Association (TICA). Apparently, they had read my blog post about cats and medieval manuscripts and now wanted to publish it in their magazine. As I was blissfully unaware of the existence of this association, I had to google them to find out whether this wasn’t some weird joke. TICA turned out to exist, however, and their magazine, with its tagline ‘For Fabulous Felines, Fun and Friendships!’, is shipped to over five thousand cat owners worldwide. Eventually, the piece was indeed published in the June/July issue of 2015 that also featured the winner of the 2013-2014 Best Household Pet Kitten of the Year.’

Internet plus Cats plus Middle Ages equals Success

The success of the blog post, which has had about seventy thousands views to date, boils down to a mix of popular ingredients. Porck: ‘The internet has always had a unique relationship with cats, with several websites being devoted only to clips and pictures of our feline friends. The Middle Ages, too, are gaining in popularity with the ongoing success of medieval fantasy series such as Game of Thrones and Vikings. People are fascinated by medieval culture and like learning more about the world of our ancestors a thousand years ago; something we see reflected in the increasing popularity of our courses on Old English and Middle English language and literature.’ 

Paw-Reviewed Article

Porck: ‘While I am aware the little publication in TICA TREND is not an academic achievement worth boasting too much about, it does introduce the fascinating world of medieval manuscripts to an audience outside of academia. In all, therefore, I am quite pleased with my first ‘paw-reviewed’ article, even if something appears to have gone wrong in the printing process. The article’s title now reads ‘Paws, Pee and Pests: Cats among Medieval Century Manuscripts’ and the word ‘Century’ obviously shouldn’t have been there. Perhaps, the error was caused by a cat walking all over the editor’s keyboard – a problem a medieval scribe could relate to!’

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