I have been living in Scotland for almost six years now but it wasn’t until last Saturday’s visit to the newly reopened museum that I first heard of Cat Sìth! If you don’t feel like reading the Wikipedia article, they are mythological creatures of the Scottish highlands: fairies or, in other stories, witches that turn into black cats. Supposedly these legends were sparked by sightings of Kellas cats. The are black feline hybrids of a Scottish wildcat and a domestic cat. This immediately ignited a spark in my head and the lightbulb came on! We should go to the highlands, to Kellas where a specimen was shot probably on the day I was born (I know it was in January 1983) and try to find one! Also, we could examine the one they keep in Elgin museum. Not knowing much about tracking cats, we decided to do some research and that is how we ended up on the Scottish Wildcat Association website.
Turns out these monkeys are on the verge of extinction. The Scottish wildcat is only found in Scotland, usually in the highlands, and even though they provide quite a good tutorial on recognising them, there seems to be only about 400 in the wild, very hard to spot. Challenge accepted!
I have since been given a years membership as a present. The £25 goes towards the conservation initiative and we have ordered a DVD to learn a bit more about them. New goal in life: observe a Scottish wildcat in the wild!
We think that one of the problems is their name. Scottish wildcat just kind of sounds like a cat gone feral in Scotland if you’re not familiar with the topic. Something like Scottish Teacup Tiger or Scottish Pygmy Nightsaber might attract more interest? Any ideas? Post them below!
More posts likely this week: archive days tomorrow and Thursday and portfolio / job hunt has tentatively started!