February 29, 2016 | 6 Comments We are blessed with good fortune. I know this because floor tiles marked by paw prints are said to bring good luck. We just had saltillo tiles laid in our Mazatlán home and some of the tiles have cat tracks in them. What luck! Saltillo tiles on our kitchen floor The question is–should I buy lottery tickets or are these merely factory defects and we should demand our money back? Is this “good luck” story just a manufacturer’s attempt to avoid a refund? Paw prints in a 2000-year old Roman tile found in Gloucester, England. How much luck did the Romans have there? Saltillo, Mexico is famous for tiles made from its local clay. Wet tiles are sun-baked and later kiln-fired. While the tiles laze in the sun there’s always the potential for some animal to wander by and maliciously dab its foot into the soft clay just like little boys when they spy wet concrete sidewalks. But the issue becomes problematic. I am acquainted with a cynic who claims tile makers store dog/cat/chicken feet in their office bar fridges and randomly stamp some of the wet tiles to instill the cachet of authenticity. This is our tile. Can CSI people tell me if the prints are authentic or faked? What to believe? I prefer to believe authenticity and the good luck version of events BUT something happened to give me pause and reevaluate. Another marked tile became apparent in our newly laid bedroom floor and I suspect this tile was not created by happenstance. Bikini clad lady-not exactly a Matisse line-drawing but it’s a start. JLO inspired??? EXPAND THIS IMAGE A bored factory employee with artistic aspirations must have scratched this faint image into our tile before it left the factory. The delicate scratches are not obvious in the raw tile but once installed and grouted, the grout sticks in the marks and they show up as black lines. Lynn has never let me have girlie pictures (in the bedroom or otherwise) so I am not sure how my luck will hold out. PS – There’s a certain charm to the irregularity of hand-made items and to the chance events that lead to the irregularity. Perhaps the awareness that not everything is punched out by a computer controlled robot can bring a smile to our lips. Mexico has an abundant supply of irregularities, which may explain why we smile more often when we’re in Mazatlán.