Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Cat murals abroad are different (from ours)

I caught some local ‘official’ murals in Glasgow some time ago (3 years ago!), as seen in Glasgow’s graffiti cats, and they’re still there – and I rather like the term that has been coined by some to describe them online, ‘murder mittens’.

Here’s s reminder:

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

One thing I’ve noticed is that our murals tend to the realistic, and that’s not a complaint. As a failed artist (despite being told by an art teacher I could and should paint and draw as I had the ability, I still think anything I attempt is fit only for the bin) I love the realism and accuracy of the work, and believe another thing my teacher told me, that cats are a real test of ability – and if you can portray them realistically, you are lucky and talented.

That said, I was browsing through a photo site that just collates random pics it thinks are great, and I spotted a couple of cat murals in a recent dump.

Unfortunately, it just collects the pics, not any of the details, so I have no idea where these are located, but from the ‘feel’ of their environment and surroundings, I’d say they lie on foreign soil.

But it’s really the stylised nature of their depiction of cat faces that caught my eye.

While I love the realistic murals that have appeared in Glasgow over the past few years, and are ‘Tourist trails’, even hidden in odd places so they are hard to find, and a surprise when they are spotted, I also think our artists need to develop some imagination too, and dare to move outside the borders of pure reality, and move into some more stylised and abstract work:

Foreign Cat Mural 1

Foreign Cat Mural 1


Foreign Cat Mural 2

Foreign Cat Mural 2


Foreign Cat Mural 3

Foreign Cat Mural 3

It’s not that we don’t have them at all, but this example (the only one I have of such a thing) is located on a wall facing AWAY from the road AND behind a wall. It’s only visible to people walking the path along the side of the River Clyde, or who may happen to look across from the opposite bank, from a place that is largely deserted.

Big Fire Cat Clyde

Big Fire Cat Clyde

April 22, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

SUPERCAT flies to the rescue of the Scottish wildcat

I almost missed this one, but it’s nice to see some more publicity appearing.


Cat owners across Scotland are being asked to help protect a highly endangered native species, the Scottish wildcat.

Experts estimate there are fewer than 300 wildcats left in the wild but Scottish Wildcat Action hopes that pet and farm cats will help save the day by becoming “Supercats.”

Scottish Wildcat Action is a national project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, which aims to halt the decline of this native species by 2020. It is led by Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and is a partnership of 20 organisations. The Supercat campaign will launch on World Spay Day on 28 February with support from wildlife filmmaker, Gordon Buchanan, and using the hashtag #supercat.

To become a Supercat, a domestic cat needs to be micro-chipped, neutered and have up-to-date vaccinations. This helps wildcats by reducing the risks of cross-breeding and disease that are wiping out the last few wildcats in Scotland. Vaccinations, in particular, also help give Supercats themselves better protection from a range of threats.

News Release – Originally published by Scottish Natural Heritage.

Supercats are pet or farm cats that have been micro-chipped, neutered and have up-to-date vaccinations.


And in the media:

New campaign launched to save Scotland’s elusive wildcat

March 3, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Catbutt – the usual view

I spend more time than I should flicking through other people’s pics, however it has shown me some interesting things.

One of the glum observations is the number of abandoned (or apparently abandoned or lost) cats wandering around, and the difference between the US and the UK – or perhaps I should be more exact and say the burbs of Glasgow.

While I usually see US pics with stories of how they have been taken by someone who found a lost kitty wandering around and it immediately attached itself to them for life – here in Glasgow the norm seems to be vanishing cats, or cats that run away, if found wandering around.

I seldom even get the chance to grab a pic before they evaporate just after I bump into them, unless they are a safe distance away with some sort of barrier between us. Take the example below – after I danced around the vehicle in the foreground for a couple of minutes trying to take a pic of the cat concerned, it ‘vanished’.

In this case, I was lucky, and came around the right side of the vehicle to see its butt just about to vanish from sight – had I been a moment later or slower looking around the opposite side, it would have been gone completely.

You can play ‘Spot the Cat’ with the pic:

Spot the cat

Spot the cat

February 3, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | | Leave a comment

Bespoke cat furniture is a thing!

I was lucky recently, and just managed to catch this pic before someone jumped in and it drove away.

There’s not much I can really add to this, the sign on the van tells you all you need to know, and there are plenty  of pics on their web site.

Crrailiso Cats

Of course, I had no way of knowing it at the time, but the nice lady that jumped in was the “mad cat lady” (interesting variation on the more usual ‘Crazy Cat Lady’) behind this business, and her other half was driving, as I learnt after visiting their web site to see the goodies on offer, and their cats of course.

Not sure where, but also from reading their story, it seems their workshop is somewhere in Glasgow.

I’m not as smart as I sometimes mistakenly think I am – despite a pic of gate to their unit, I don’t recognise the surrounding area, so it’s probably not on one of my walks. Beside, the sign on the gate is big enough to wake me up from the semi-trance I wander around in.

Crrailiso cats van

Crrailiso cats van

I know the question in yours minds, so here’s quote from their 2017  site:

There is not a set price as each creation is different. The cost depends on the material used, the size, complexity of the design and time taken to create it.  As a general guide, a 6 foot  tree is in the range of £375 – £525.

January 31, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Big fluff

I suspect this big lump of fluff is not so much fat as just enjoying ‘big fur’ for the winter season, it was freezing.

Given that most of out local cats have the ability to teleport, or become invisible, when approached, I decided to catch the pic rather than disturb anyone – you can’t take a pic of something that is no longer there.

I’m guessing the closed steel gate (not visible in the pic) is what gave this character the confidence to stay still and undisturbed while I stopped for the shot – but any closer, and the step would have been empty.

That cheeky little peak in the fur at back!

Fat cat

Fat cat

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | | 1 Comment

Familiar face seen in Rutherglen

I don’t know if anybody else spends any time looking at cats on the Internet, but I can recommend it as a way of triggering the phrase “HOW LONG???

I thought I was safe while out for a walk, but while passing the Mecca Bingo Hall in Rutherglen I found myself face-to-face with a familiar cat, as seen below:

Mecca Bingo Internet cat

Mecca Bingo Internet cat

The poster is/was on the entrance to a former 1930s cinema in Rutherglen Main Street, The Vogue, now one of the lucky ones to have survived even as a bingo hall, as even these were beginning to fall out of favour at one point, leading to still more of these marvellous buildings being razed, something that is still happening to those which have failed to find new uses or owners.

As for the cat…

Find it here:

Stock Photo – Portrait of gray shorthair British cat with bright yellow eyes on a white background

Since this is on a site that wants its ‘palm crossed with silver‘ for using that image, I’m not going to risk any hassle, so that’s why there’s just a text link.

I wonder if Mecca… Nah, they wouldn’t do that, would they?

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Can’t let a day for cats pass


It’s that time of year again:

National Cat Day

National Cat Day

October 29, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

International Cat Day

International Cat Day…

No more need be said 🙂


August 8, 2016 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

October 27 – Black Cat Day

Black Cat crossing

Apparently, this is officially Black Cat Day – October 27.

Nothing is quite as elegant as a black cat – like a miniature Amazonian jaguar, they doze atop the highest point in the area, waking for several hours daily to prowl around hunting for a tasty morsel. But black cats and kittens are often overlooked when animal shelters are looking for new homes, and can be at the shelter much longer than they should be. So why is this?

Cats in ancient Egypt were revered highly, partly due to their ability to combat vermin such as mice, rats. Cats of royalty were known to be dressed in golden jewellery and were allowed to eat right off their owners’ plates. The goddess of warfare was a woman with the head of a cat named Bastet.

However, now it is common for some people to see black cats as unlucky or mischievous, but not everyone knows why. In Celtic mythology, it was believed that fairies could take the form of black cats, and therefore their arrival to a home or village was seen as sign of good luck. Unfortunately, the Pilgrims that came after them were devoutly religious and fearful of anything remotely related to the pagan beliefs of their ancestors, and it was because of that fear that black cats went from being seen as the vessels of fairies to the vessels of witches and demons. At that time it became common practice to severely punish those who kept black cats as pets, and even kill the animals themselves.

Although these days nobody really believes black cats are witches or demons in disguise anymore, they are still often seen as signs of bad luck by many people in the West.

I have to say that one or two black cats have stayed with me, and these myths could not be further from the truth, as they were amongst the softest, most placid, and appreciative cats that I’ve come across.

If you have a cat, especially a black one, today is the day to make it feel extra special. We are all so busy with our lives that we often forget to show our pets some of the love they give us on a daily basis. So get your cat a new toy or a tasty treat and spend the afternoon playing tug-of-war or rubbing their belly – nobody knows how to enjoy the little things in life like animals do.

And if you are visiting a shelter for a new friend, bear in mind that the black cats and kittens are reported to be the ones that are often passed over – for no good reason.


October 27, 2015 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Good news for cat people in Edinburgh

The sort of temporary cat café in Edinburgh is set to become PERMANENT.

Edinburgh’s first cat cafe has announced it will be moving to a permanent home in the Grassmarket next month.

Maison de Moggy, which opened in a temporary location in Stockbridge back in January, will set up shop on West Port in a former bridal store – and its owner insists the new location will be bigger and better than ever.

The cafe, which is inspired by similar ventures in Japan, offers visitors the chance to enjoy a cup of tea while cuddling up to a host of different moggies including a bushy Maine Coon and a rare Norwegian Forest cat.

Via Edinburgh cat cafe gets permanent Grassmarket home – The Scotsman

Glasgow is still playing catch-up with this major advance in well-being.

Wake me when it opens…

No, wait – DON’T wake me, I’m a cat!

Sleeping Persian

Sleeping Persian




April 8, 2015 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Little 7-week old kitten found on Edinburgh bus

I usually mention ‘lost cat’ stories on the off-chance that the owner or a friend might recognise the subject, and be reunited.

But that’s probably not so in this case, as the subject is a little kitten, said to be only 7-weeks old, and which turned up in a number 3 Lothian Bus headed to Longstone.

This one’s just included on the basis of massive amounts of cuteness.

Named ‘Ticket’, this one is possibly too young to have an owner, and somehow strayed onto the bus – although it’s reckoned that the platform is just too high for it too have jumped on by itself.

So it’s a bit of a mystery.

Ticket was taken to the Scottish SPCA‘s Edinburgh & Lothians rehoming centre.

Seven-week-old kitten found on number 3 Lothian Bus in Edinburgh | Edinburgh & East | News

Bus kitten Ticket

Bus kitten Ticket pic via Scottish SPCA

July 11, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

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