Feuerwerkbuch: Germany, 1584
I'm going to level with you -- this article was mostly an excuse to showcase some artwork I plan on tattooing all over my body when this whole "being a functional member of civilization" thing finally run its course. But there's one cat drawing out there that cuts so deep, it makes me forget that feline dander turns my skull into an exploding cistern of boogers. And that illustration comes from this Renaissance manuscript. Meet Sir Rocket Cat and his comrade-in-arms, the Bluebird of Zoom.
At first glance, it appears as if these two noble critters have been outfitted with some anachronistic jet packs by, oh, their neighborhood warlock. But the reality is much more sinister -- Feuerwerkbuch was a manual detailing the many creative ways 16th century warmakers could rain pyrotechnic death upon their foes. These two frolicking friends aren't going on a fanciful Merlin-approved escapade. No, they're beelining toward that castle in the background, where they will ignite into fiery clouds of gristle and sadness.
University of Heidelberg
"Forsooth, Bluebird of Zoom! That grease-drenched enchanter said the kidnapped serfs are held in yonder keep!"