Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Black Cats Matter

Something a bit odd, and the result of not only a chance find in the street, but also seen more often than I’d like in posts made in a large image sharing site I spend (far too much) time in.

As someone who has had their home graced by the presence of one or two black cats, or ‘house panthers’ (brilliant name), I’m at a complete and utter loss to understand the apparently real and continuing lack of love that seems to be perpetuated by some supposed ‘cat lovers’ against this variation.

It’s bad enough that there are still people out there with tiny minds who see the black cat as somehow being ‘inherently evil’ – you can find the same sort of people who hold the same view about anyone who doesn’t have white skin – but hearing of gorgeous cats being left to languish in shelters is really not acceptable, and not what anyone who merits the description ‘cat lover’ would do.

This came to mind when I tripped over (and really did ‘trip’) a page from a paper (I hesitate to use the full term ‘newspaper’) that somehow seems to have survived since 7 October 2014, just lying in the street:

Black Cats Matter

Black Cats Matter

According to this 2014 article, some 70% of the cats abandoned at the RSPCA were BLACK!

And it was reported that a number of residents had been dumped because their captors hadn’t considered them to look good enough in SELFIES!

Have you ever seen my thoughts on selfies and the people who take them? (They’re not nice thoughts, so I won’t repeat them).

Black cat looks better than any person ever seen in a selfie…

Black Cat

Black Cat

Activist Black Cat would like to meet some of them personally:

Dumping Black Cats You Say

Dumping Black Cats You Say


October 15, 2017 Posted by | Appeal | , | Leave a comment

The illegals – XK11 TTY… still naughty even if K11TTY

I don’t usually post horrible pics, but this one is exceptional as I actually managed to recover the detail I needed from it (the registration number).

While I usually have the instant response of a dSLR (with ‘Sport’ option selected if I know I will need a fast hand-held response) to rely on, I can’t carry one ALL the time, so rely on a pocket compact (oh for the day I can afford a tiny mirrorless replacement) when the real camera has to be left at home. There’s a further advantage as careful setup means that pics can be taken in low light with no need for flash, or even camera shale in most cases. I notice the maker recently added a new body to the range, and apparently has omitted even the tiny pop-up flash – maybe not ideal in the real world. Admittedly I seldom rely on it, but it does come in handy if more than 20 metres from the nearest street light, or where there’s no ambient lighting at all.

Back to the compact, and I had to drop what I was carrying to dig in my pocket for the little horror when this Range Rover ambled past me in a car park. You can estimate how long it took to find the camera, find the ‘ON’ button, wait while it started up (this involves pushing the zoom lens back and forth), turned on the LCD on the back, read the scene, and chose an exposure mode. Note the streetlights – it was darker than it looks.

I had to forego any attempt at framing, or pressing the button to zoom the lens (the lens is too slow to move, it always overshoots, plus there is no viewfinder, only the LCD) to get in closer. With the vehicle moving further away all the time, there was only time for one ‘Panic shot’ before it would be gone completely.

Just as well I grabbed it, as I’ve never seen this one before – or since!

The vehicle’s not really of interest, just another huge Chelsea Tractor that’s probably never seen mud let alone a field, but is noted as a Land 2015 Rover Range Rover Vogue TDV6 AU.

The real interest is the registration: XK11 TTY.

Of course, modified with a little illegal spacing to look like X KIITTY, but with such a fuzzy pic, this is one I can’t show off as part of the collection. It took some effort to get it back with the application of filters – yes, I had forgotten what the registration was by the time I got home.

Range Rover Vogue [XK11 TTY]

Range Rover Vogue [XK11 TTY]

September 23, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Cats – still the same after 100 years. Mr Peebody is still on patrol

The pic below may be modern, only found online last night, but it seems the spirit of the message is unchanged, even after 100 years of inspiration in the east end of Glasgow.

In this case, the scene is my grandfather’s newsagent’s shop (long long gone, but was in Fielden Street).

Business is carrying on as usual, until…

There’s a SCREAM from one of the female shoppers!

Once again, Mr Peebody had struck silently… and accurately… as she removes her shoe and pours out the cat pee which has run down her ankle and into her shoe.

She gives my grandfather a ‘piece of her mind’, but he just shrugs his shoulders and points out that it’s not his cat (it’s too lazy, and just sleeps on the nice warm piles of newspapers), and just happened to wander into the shop to do… it’s ‘business’.

The attacks were deadly as the slightly warm stream was not noticed at first. Victims only became aware of events after it had evaporated a little and started to cool , By then, it was too late,

Mr Peebody was either finished and already heading out the door, or was about to run like hell as soon as the scream came.

Apparently he didn’t confine his fun to the shop, and it seems he knew that a group of gossiping women in London Road would be too busy to notice his arrival (until it was too late), so the scream was often heard there too.

Mr Peebody

Mr Peebody

It’s nice to know the old traditions are being upheld today, even with variations:

Peed On The Hamster

Peed On The Hamster

September 8, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

The secret inside hoMEOWner

In what I now think of as ‘The Good Old Days’ I used to have a certain degree of responsibility for a small office we ran in Aberdeen, which meant the occasional drive up there to make sure the staff were following procedures.

With a trip time of 2-3 hours depending on what sort of loonies might be encountered on the early morning roads, I generally timed this run so as to arrive at Aberdeen beach in time for The Inversnecky café to be open, and the cooker to be nicely warmed up so I could enjoy a nice cooked breakfast before falling in the office door.

I spotted the words of wisdom seen below in a big photo-sharing site, and recognised not only the name, but the pavement and road – these being the same ones found on the beach road in front of The Inversnecky.

The sandwich board didn’t exist in the days when I was visiting, but seems to have become a regular feature and can be found elsewhere – but this cat-themed one is (obviously) going to be the one I mention

Inversencky Inversnecky Homeowner MeowMeow

Inversnecky Homeowner Meow

September 2, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Unfair to cats!

A recent sortie into the city brought some sad and bad news…

The cats of Howard Street and Dunlop Street have been largely ruined.

Glasgow Howard Street Cat Murals Boarded Up

Glasgow Howard Street Cat Murals Boarded Up

Yes, sure, they were never going to be permanent, but they were pretty good and deserved to be around for longer.

They were certainly nicer to look at than the odd face murals that were created under the bridge at Broomielaw (I haven’t been there, so no pics only for that reason), which I recently read somewhere were beginning to fall apart as water got behind the plaster they were painted on, but they might be repaired.

No such love, apparently, for the cats of Howard and Dunlop streets.

Click the pic below for the originals:

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

August 13, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

So you’re keeping cats out – seriously?

I’m surprised at how often I see ‘barriers’ similar to the slightly more ‘design engineered’ version pictured below.

They appear to be the product of cat-hating garden owners who know so little about cats that they think blocking of the bottom 50 cm or so of a wrought iron gate, gap around it, or space in the edge of a wall will magically stop cats wandering into their gardens and – “Doing their business”.

Given that ‘Cats are Liquid’, as demonstrated online, can jump many times their own height, are equipped with claws that can tackle any obstacle they can get a grip of to climb (but are directional so getting down can sometimes pose a problem), and pass through any gap wider than their whiskers – the idea is ever so slightly…SILLY.

Still, you have to admire the thought put into this effort, with a weighted bottom to make sure it stays sealed all the way to the ground.

It’s just a pity it’s WIDE OPEN from about 30 cm ABOVE the ground so a cat, or more likely a fox these day (the cats are not daft, and stay warm and well-fed indoors most of the time), can just walk straight in as if the barrier is just not there.

I suppose I should add that making it higher, or even putting in a solid gate is not really going to help, since I am visited by cats who can be seen looking at such gates one minute – then be seen a minute later… on the roof the house behind.

Barricaded Gate

Barricaded Gate (in your dreams)

May 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

I will walk through fire for you

I was going to say I didn’t know if these two were related, as the first appeared online as grainy gif with little detail, but I later found the source video, which originated in Italy.

Seemed a shame not to carry on with the rest though, since I had started… and it’s a while since I had any cat content:


Mother cat walks through fire five time to rescue her kittens:



This appeared a little later, and would have been handy for mum above – one trip would have been a lot quicker and a lot less wear and tear!


May 21, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Glasgow’s graffiti cats

These giant cats were something of a surprise when I made into Glasgow recently.

Glasgow Howard St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

The rendering is quite good, especially given their scale.

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Many years ago I was told by a real artist that one of the tests for artistic talent was to see how well someone claiming to be an artist could create images of cats. If they could produce realistic sketches/drawings/paintings then they passed. But if their attempts looked more like dogs, farmyard animals, or the products of a nuclear holocaust… then they would be advised to claim some other trade or ability.

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

Glasgow Dunlop St cats

I’d have to go along with that, since I might be able to beat anyone into submission with technical illustrations, but I wouldn’t dare try anything artistic, unless using a real airbrush (ie needs compressed air, not a plug-in) – and since this is really a technical tool in many respects, that probably tells what I can do (or used to, years ago.)

Glasgow Howard St cats

Glasgow Howard St cats

For as long as they last, these cats can be found in Howard Street and Dunlop Street. Since I don’t get to pick and choose when I visit, I just had to shoot around the parked cars, otherwise I’d have returned at a time when the streets would have been deserted, and I could have taken clear shots of the walls.

Glasgow Howard St cats

Glasgow Howard St cats

I didn’t realise it at the time, but later discovered that if there had been more time and I had walked on a bit further, there was more work (not cats, but at least one Dalek apparently) just a little further on. I haven’t been able to get back, and it will probably be gone by the time I do, but I have made a note to check if I do get near any time soon.

April 2, 2014 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Cat Sale really is genuine and needed

There’s a lot of fun to be found on the Internet concerning cats, and there have been humorous  “Cat Sale” adverts produced on numerous occasions in the past, and it took a moment to realise the one depicted in the ad below actually was genuine and  had a serious purpose.

There’s not much we can do for Friendswood Animal Control since we are in Glasgow, but it does provide us with an opportunity to see how differently things are done in the US compared to here.

The sale has come about because Friendswood Animal Control, unlike most charitable animal rescue centre here, puts down (or as they say over there ‘euthanises’ – or should that be ‘euthanizes’) their excess guests that have failed to find a new ‘Forever Home’ when their accommodation is full, to make space for new arrivals.

Cat Sale

There’s not much to add.

Different countries have different customs.

After all, people in the US think it acceptable and almost normal to abuse cats by having them “de-clawed”, and seem to be under the impression that Brits don’t have indoor cats. I had a long fight in a cat forum a few months back, after an American stated that “fact”, and I dared to correct them by noting many elderly people here have pet cats that never cross the threshold, live in flats (apartments), and have their claws too.

September 17, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Cat 101 Educational Video


Everybody doesn’t know all this already?

Clearly, this video must become viral 🙂

August 2, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Holyrood allows discrimination against cats

Mouse fun

After our good MSPs awarded themselves a £413 glory hole to hide in – after estimating it would cost only a then of that (which is around £40 million, just in case you think I mis-typed – and I am one of those who does not buy ANY of the mythological excuses that the £40 million was not the original estimate, no matter how the story is spun), it seems that they are just as hopeless when it comes to dealing with the vermin which has taken up residence there.

No jokes now… I am not a rabid political activist (I’m an equal opportunity cynic) and don’t want to see any comments about this relating to the good folk in there, regardless of party, and wish to make it clear than I am referring to the mice which have made the skip known as the Parliament Building at Holyrood their home.

While many famous and glorious institutions around the World have seen fit to establish cats within their wall and act as natural vermin control, see for example The Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, featured by the BBC(2007) and The Telegraph (2013):

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Hermitage palace is cat’s whiskers

St Petersburg: the cats of the Hermitage

The MSPs, it seems, are too sickly and sensitive to live with cats anywhere near them:

“Members have said to us that they would have an allergy to a resident cat.

Said Corporate Body health and safety spokeswoman Linda Fabiani.

Are they serious, and is the level of reality the MSPs we are supposed to depend on demonstrate?

If they are that sensitive to a cat wandering around a skip the size of Holyrood, then they’re probably not fit to go there to work in the first place, as a little pollution in the street is likely to have them in need of an ambulance to get them as far as the door.

They’d be better throwing the MSPs out of the building, and filling it with cats – at least the visitors would get something nice to see instead of that abomination on the site.

Essential reading for MSPs

The BBC has a couple of offerings which MSPs might well be advised to study:

Cat allergy research offers new clues

‘Cat allergy made me feel like an outcast’

After the quote from the Corporate Jokeswoman of Holyrood, I can only add this posting made on Twitter:

Spoof Twitter account pokes fun at cat rejection

A spoof Twitter account set up in the name of the ‘romping rodents’ has taken the news in its stride. @HolyroodMouse, set up in March tweeted ‘Common sense prevails!

Freeeeeeeeedooooooom!!!!!!!!’, following it up with ‘You see all these stories about how I’m such a ‘problem’ but not once have I been approached for my side of the story. Pro-cat media bias!’

When asked for a comment, the mouse replied: ‘I welcome the common sense rejection of a #parlycat because sociopaths have no place in Holyrood. However, “pest control” is inflammatory language that we can do without in the interests of human-mouse relations.’

The Holyrood Mouse is not alone however, counting the New York Times newsroom mouse and the Newsnight mouse – both of whom regularly interact with users on Twitter – amongst its followers.

Via No Holyrood cat despite ‘flaunting’ mice – Odd – The Scotsman

Grumpy wisdom

Last word, of course, to an expert in such things:

Grumpy Holyrood

June 20, 2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

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