Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Timorous tortie

While this one was no more wary than any other cat that (very) occasionally wanders through here, the description is no less applicable.

Apart from my once sort of regular black visitor, the cats still wandering around seldom let me near.

I spotted this one, apparently enjoying something it had found during one of the breaks between the snow flurries our current Siberian ‘cold air’ bath eventually delivered today.

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 1

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 1

I know every leaf lying around my ‘garden’ at the moment, and believe me, there’s NOTHING edible down there, at least not that I left out.

I tried to get some more views, to see if there were any clues on offer.

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 2

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 2

Definitely got a mouthful of ‘something, but I have no idea what.

Another catch didn’t really help – and I’d been spotted!

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 3

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 3

“Hoomin’s too damned close – I’m off, and putting more distance between us.”

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 4

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 4

Whatever it had found, it took with it.

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 5

Tortoiseshell Snow Cat 5

That look…

Was basically my marching orders.

If I went indoors, ‘Tortie’ would move.

If I stepped outside, ‘Tortie’ went back into the undergrowth, and stayed put.

I used to have treats/food to hand, but gave this up long ago, as I just ended up throwing it away when it got to be too old, or was opened and discarded, so didn’t have anything to offer.

On a positive note, this character was clean and well-fed, not in distress, so probably just made the mistake of going for a walk on the wrong day.


February 28, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | 2 Comments

Black cat, or black catbutt?

Remember Black kitty is still black under yellow light?

I was passing the same place last night, and spotted what looked, at first, like a black football sitting in the porch.

Then I remembered which house this was, so looked closer, and tried to take a pic.

I say ‘tried’ as the night had turned wet, and the drizzle (not quite proper rain) seemed to be defeating the camera’s focus and exposure, both were erratic and would not lock on.

Eventually I coaxed this first pic (trying not to look too suspicious).

Black Cat (Probably)

Black Cat (Probably)

But – was it the head, or yet another catbutt?

After another argument with the camera settings (the constant drizzle was almost like a thin mist, and really screwed with these), I actually got this shot, which confirmed NOT catbutt, but I have no idea how I got it!

I think the flash (usually disabled) fired, but being so far from the subject did nothing, but still caught the eyes and revealed which end of the cat I was being honoured with.

Black Cats Eyes

Black Cats Eyes

February 24, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Today is Love Your Pet Day

20 February is Love Your Pet Day.

They got this one wrong!

It should be Love Your Pet More Day.

Treat your cat to a new cat tree.

Buy the tree.

Bring it home.

Unpack it.

Save time and throw the tree away now.

Leave the box somewhere for the cat to find.

Funny Guy Dies Last

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

What? 2018 is the Year of the Dog!

No wonder they slipped that in under my radar!

2018 Year of the Dog

2018 Year of the Dog

Don’t bother looking for the Year of the Cat – The Rat stole it!

You’re about to learn why cats chase rats with such vigour.

Folktale 1:

One day, the Jade Emperor initially selected 12 animal, and told the cat to inform the rest 11, in which the rat is not included.  The rat heard this information by eavesdropping when the cat told the ox. The rat secretly came to the heaven palace and registered for the first position before everyone else. The stupid Jade Emperor didn’t even check the authenticity of the Rat’s registration. Then the first informed Ox only got second position. Finished informing everyone and came back for his own position, did the cat only to find that no position left for him anymore. So rat is the first and no cat. From then on, cat and rat became life enemies.

Folktale 2:

Once, the Jade Emperor thought it’s better to assign an animal for each year so people can remember the Zodiac cycle easier. So he decided to hold a meeting with all the animals and he will elect 12 of them to be the Zodiac animals in the meeting. At that time, cat and rat are close friends, just like brothers. They are very excited for the meeting and decided to go together.  The cat is a sleepyhead, hardly woke up before noon. Night before the meeting, he ask the rat to wake him up the next morning.  The rat agreed: No problem, take it easy, I will wake you up for sure! The cat felt assured and had a sweet dream. The next morning, the rat got up early and quietly, washed and brushed, left for the meeting alone.

When the cat woke up afternoon, he knew it’s too late.  The news about newly selected 12 animals were everywhere; and the rat is the first of them.  Felt betrayed by the rat, from then on, the cat turned into rat’s enemy. So that’s also why cats are always chasing  after rats.


The two folktales above are the most typical and most funny ones. I like them. But probably you will doubt that’s the truth.  12 animals for the Chinese zodiac must have been developed in the early stage of Chinese civilization for hundreds of year until it become the current edition; and it’s very hard to investigate the real origin.  As to the absence of Cat, most historians agree that Chinese zodiac 12 animal were formed before cats were introduced to China from India with Buddhism.  So the answer is clear: There is no cat on the list because Chinese people never knew a cat at  that time.

Vietnam’s edition has Cat:

Just some additional information on this topic, although Vietnam adapted 12 animal zodiac from China, their edition is a little different. They have Cat in it, while Rabbit is dropped off. Why? Not sure. One explanation is that the “Rabbit” pronunciation in Chinese sounds like “Cat” in Vietnamese, so they made a mistake.

Explanation thanks to finding a Chinese blog:

Why no year of the Cat?

Just Waiting For The Rat

Just Waiting For The Rat

They’re a bit tougher than mice, so I did some checking, and found this, just to help 🙂

Rat Trap

Rat Trap

February 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Oh! It’s February 14th, so…

Grumpy Valentine

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Protest against the ban on Button the cat as Aberdeen University rector candidate

Given that rectors are really titular positions, not achieved through holding jobs that develop a career leading to promotion to the post – and you need only look at some of the utter numpties that have been handed the post – there seems no reason NOT to hand the title to one of our feline overlords, especially since it seems Buttons lives on the campus, and has spent more time mingling with the students there than any ‘parachuted in’ outsider who may also have dubious intentions.

On Thursday the 8th of February 2018, sixty-two students signed a rectorial nomination form requesting that Buttons, the white cat that lives on campus, be allowed to run as candidate in the upcoming elections for the position of rector to the University of Aberdeen. The elections committee could not validate the nomination as Buttons did not meet requirements under the OSCR Guidelines to being a charity trustee (as outlined in the Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005) as is required under Section 2.2 of the Rules.

We have been given 24 hours to make an appeal to the elections committee and have decided to open this petition in the hope of getting enough students engaged to prove that it is necessary for Buttons to be nominated as candidate for the sake of student interest, democracy and fluffy feline friendliness.

Vote for cats not bureaucrats. Vote for Buttons.

The petition can be signed here:

Let Buttons be Nominated for Rector of the University of Aberdeen

STV News: Bid to elect Buttons the cat rector of Aberdeen University

The Herald: Hundreds protest ban on Buttons the cat as Aberdeen University Rector candidate

Cats Not Bureaucrats

Cats Not Bureaucrats

Maybe that should  be Bureaucats NOT Bureaucrats 🙂

First: Bureaucats: The felines with official positions

Second: Whiskers in the workplace: More cats with careers

February 12, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Catholics with dyslexia will understand

I have suffered this disappointment…

Catholic Meeting Misunderstanding

Catholic Meeting Misunderstanding

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Cat’s Eyes are now Road Studs because – cruel to cats and upsetting to children!

I take it this is true, given that I know we are getting “Smart Cat’s Eyes” – they are computer controlled and linked to other signals – which I assume can look after themselves 😉

I got this info, which I assume has come from a feature somewhere else describing the subject.

My thanks to my anonymous donor – wherever this came from I’d probably never have seen it.

Cats Eyes Are Used For What?

Cats Eyes Are Used For WHAT?

I think it’s great that we are in 2018 and have to ensure we don’t mentally scar little kiddie-winkies by giving them the mental image of road-builders tearing out real cat’s eyes and hammering them into the road.

And let’s not forget the poor tourists, who might be inconvenienced by having to understand the language and customs of the country they are visiting. Seriously, can you imagine the French changing their language to accommodate British tourists?

I’m willing to suggest NONE of these thoughts arose from tourists or children, but more likely from some newly qualified ‘Moral Officer’ who is paid to sit and look at their belly button while thinking up ways to protect defenceless innocents ‘for their own good’.

You may also notice another change taking place – cats eyes have undergone a rebranding and are now being called road studs. The reason for this is twofold, both quite amusing for drivers. Firstly, tourists are confused by the term and don’t understand warning signs such as ‘warning cat’s eyes removed’ when driving around the UK.

The other reason is that children were worried as they thought they were real cat’s eyes being embedded in the roads – hands up if you remember thinking that when you were a kid?

Most of us probably did because cats eyes have been around that long. The first ones were made back in 1933 by a man called Percy Shaw. He was driving along a West Yorkshire road and saw his lights reflected in the eyes of a cat walking alongside the road. He instantly realised their potential for road safety and came up with the device we are all familiar with. Cats eyes have been noted as one of the top 10 most iconic designs that the UK has ever created!

So, cat’s eyes are being renamed as road studs and smart road studs to help tourists feel more at ease on UK roads, and to stop children having sleepless nights over the mistreated cats! However, for most of us, they will remain cat’s eyes, no matter how smart they become.

Cat’s face – when it hears someone say it’s going to work in PETA’s Cat’s Eye Factory.

Cats Eyes

Cats Eyes

(Relax, it’s really a firefighter with a cat just rescued from a fire.)


It’s OK to upset kids if you can play the safety card, and even better if they are autistic.

“Some of these children are on the autistic spectrum and are in a routine.

“Since the ban, crossing the road has become a little bit confusing to the children… and they’ve gone to school upset because Colin hasn’t high-fived them and they can’t understand why.”

Via High-five lollipop man slapped with ban

February 9, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Cat mural

Lucky catch this morning, while flicking through some photo-sharing.

No details with this one, not even country, but I’m guessing it’s not local, and probably somewhere in Continental Europe – they’re quite good at these.

Unknown Cat Mural

Unknown Cat Mural

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Portland Winter Lights Festival – cat section

I received a set of pics from the Portland Winter Lights Festival – something a little bit too far for me to walk to for a quick look, but I was intrigued to see it had a cat section.

My, what big eyes you have.

My, what big teeth you have.

All the better to eat…

Portland Winter Lights Festival Cat

Portland Winter Lights Festival Cat

February 5, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Elvis the fat cat is well named (but still looks a lot better)

Hopefully Elvis the fat cat will not follow his disgusting namesake and die as an obese drug addict on the toilet litter box.

Like many owners, it seems his human was ‘being kind’ and making sure he was well fed, but was unaware the portions were a little… too generous.

Instead of being around 5 kg, he tipped the scales at more like 10 kg.

“He basically had his own all-day buffet, whenever he emptied his bowl I would fill it back up again. The fact that he’s an indoor cat meant he soon piled on the weight.”

The King has now been signed up for the fit club and is on a strict portion controlled diet.

PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman said: “Sadly the UK’s pet population is suffering from an obesity epidemic.

“Latest scientific literature shows that at least a third of dogs and a quarter of cats are clinically overweight or obese, but the true figures could be as high as 40%, making obesity one of the most common medical diseases seen by vets.

“It is a ticking time bomb that will have drastic consequences for our pets.”

Via ‘Scotland’s fattest cat’ is double recommended weight

I get a lot of cat pics shared, and it’s really sad to see so many who can barely move, or just waddle from place to place in video clips.

Best of luck big guy.

Big Pic Via The PDSA

Big Pic Via The PDSA

February 3, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

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