The medievalists on my friends list are gonna like this. (My apologies for leaving off the accent mark--I don't know how to add it when typing online.)
For a brief overview, "Pangur Ban" is a poem that was written by an Irish monk in the 9th century C.E. What is it about? It's about the monk's white cat who shares his room and chases mice while the monk focuses on his studies.
Now for the fun part: my new favorite book at work is a children's picture book titled The White Cat and the Monk
. It's a sweet book that retells the poem with wonderful illustrations showing the cat and monk at their duties throughout the monastery at night until dawn arrives. It even has a historical note at the end!
I love that people were writing poems about their cats over 1,200 years ago; I love that the monk basically named his pet "White Cat"; I love that the monk's poem about his cat has survived all that time; and above all, I love that somebody in the present day thought it was worth making into a book for children. When I'm having a rough day, all of this makes me smile.
You can read the poem itself here