Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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

Justice 2!

Time isn’t on my side just now, and even though I have plenty of local items to post, they have turned into a glut in the past week or so – maybe the improving weather – and trying to pare them down is just not working. I think I will have to do a ‘Reset’ and start fresh, leaving most of the stuff I have been forced to miss recently.

Amazing. At the start of the year I could barely cobble together a Post-a-day. Now, even though I have managed to make some guidelines for choice, they seem to be feeding too many items. Time for (another) rethink methinks.

I couldn’t even pick one that I could have written about quickly, so yesterday’s Justice! post reminded me of another gem along the same lines.

Probably everybody’s seen it, but it can take a lot of repeating, as this kid gets the bath he rightly deserved – enjoy it, just once more 🙂

He deserved it!

He deserved it!


None of the “Responsible Adults” stand around do anything while the evil infant drags his victim to the pond.

However, in the longer video version of this gif, it’s nice to see none of them seem to be in any particular  hurry to do anything after the kid falls in the pond, so it’s nor all bad.

April 14, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment


Donning a generic UK/British hat, purely for the purpose of referring to the generalisation that claims we are a nation of animal lovers, I have to confess to getting into trouble sometimes, with our friends across the pond, when I have a go at them for their deplorable practices (which they seem to think are not cruel or unacceptable) such as de-clawing cats, and the really odd one of giving cats a regular bath.

Given that so many Americans would appear to sustain receive near-fatal wounds during the latter, one wonders why they even bother engaging in this highly dangerous ‘need’ they invented.

I tripped over the video offered below, where those involved claim this bath was necessary because of the cat “getting into the furnace room and getting his coat covered with harmful particles.

This one is worth watching to the end, because the girl giving the bath does not have the slightest clue about how to treat a cat and keep it calm if does have to be bathed. She gets what she deserves.

She keeps shouting and yapping all the time, and at one point even starts hitting the cat while it is in the bath because it will not stay still.

It doesn’t take much to work out why this cat doesn’t ever want to get in a bath when she is around, as I guess it has had the same treatment in the past, and associated being beaten and abused like this with the bath.

She is not fit to have a cat, at least not until educated, and events at the end of the video are almost a foregone conclusion given her abusive handling of the unfortunate cat.

I just call it justice 🙂

They also have a cheek calling the cat vicious in the title – it’s not the cat that’s vicious!

As for their claim of “harmful particles“? Well, you can try watching for a change in colour as they terrorise the cat, but I don’t see anything.

She probably asked the dog for advice…

How to wash a cat

Wet cat

April 13, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

I am…

Always respect the elderly – ANY elderly…

Cat years

April 9, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Grumpy birthday

Has it been a year already?

The smile hasn’t been off my face since she first appeared 🙂

Poor old Pokey (her brother) – I hope he wasn’t forgotten…

Grumpy birthday

Via Grumpy Cat turns one today! H̶a̶p̶p̶y̶ Birthday! | Grumpy Cat™ – The internet’s grumpiest cat!

Happy Birthday Pokey…



Via The Daily Grump | February 25, 2013 | Grumpy Cat™ – The internet’s grumpiest cat!

April 5, 2013 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

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