A paw print made by a cat in Roman times has been discovered on a 2,000 year old roof tile in Gloucester.
It was dug up in Berkeley Street in 1969 but the footprint has only just been discovered.
The print was found by an archaeologist at Gloucester City Museum who was examining thousands of fragments of Roman roof tile.
The cat is thought to have snuck across the wet tiles which were drying in the sun in about 100 AD.
The tile, a type called tegula, was used on the roof of a building in what became the Berkeley Street area of modern Gloucester, a spokesman said.
Councillor Lise Noakes, from Gloucester City Council, said it was a "fascinating discovery".
"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," she said.
What was a cat doing up on that roof back in the year 100?
According to one History of Cats Timeline, "They were introduced to Britain around 100 AD and were protected by Law by the King of Wales, Hywel Dda as sacred and valuable animals. Killing a cat could again be punishable by death."
But according to an unfortunately entitled blog - "The Cuddlywump Cat Chronicles" - there is an interesting article about when the cats were first introduced in England and who might have been responsible for their arrival.
"If the Romans did not deliver Britain’s first domestic cats, who did? Well, no one knows for sure."
What if it was the Doctor?
With the personality quirk revision in his next regeneration, the Eleventh Incarnation not only tolerated them, but was able to speak to them in their language. (When we saw this on-screen, it could be that the Doctor was talking to a transformed warlock, a common fate for malfeasant magickers.)
[TARDIS DATA CORE]
I can’t take this anymore. I want you to go.
You can have this back in whole.
What have I done?
For a start, talking to a cat.
Lots of people talk to cats.
I’ve worked it out with psychic help from the cat.
Yes. I know.
The Ninth Incarnation of the Doctor also had no problem with talking to cats......
Maybe... maybe not. Everything's pozz'ble in Toobworld.