It is no secret that Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, is intrinsically linked to the shipping industry, due to its close proximity to the River Clyde. What is not as publicly recognized, is a miniature monument dedicated to animal that saved a small community in a residential area to the north-west of the city center.
The borough of Govan is situated alongside the western banks of the River Clyde. During the reign of Queen Victoria, this area was a thriving neighborhood closely linked to the prosperity of the shipping trade. Whole building blocks would be dedicated to the picking of oakum, a type of loose fiber that would be used as caulking between planks in wooden ships.
Besides bringing well-being and security to the residents, these watery vessels also carried vermin. These undesirable pests could destroy the profitable materials, as well as carrying diseases. Enter a ferocious feline who was well known for ridden whole buildings of these destructive creatures. Unfortunately, this much loved moggie met their end defending the community from a ferocious rat king.
The citizenry was so besotted with the heroic deeds of this feline that they decided to honor them with a small memorial. Attached to the southern portion of a sandstone Category B listed building is a carved image of a cat. Ironically, the structure was initially used as Temperance (anti-alcohol) meeting place, but now houses Brechin’s Bar, a vintage watering hole.