Writing from Scotland

This is not a post about our darling cat, Tilly, who as far as we are concerned is THE cat of Aberdeen.  This isn’t actually a post about real cats at all, but about symbolic ones.  Cats, and leopards in particular, are an important part of the iconography of Aberdeen.  Let me try to explain:

Here is a cast-iron version of the city crest that graces one of the older squares of the city.  As you can see, there are two leopards holding a shield.  Apparently, James I of Scotland granted the (symbolic) leopards to the city of Aberdeen because the city underwrote his expenses while he was in exile in England in the early 15th century (R M Urquhart, Scottish Burgh and County Heraldry, London, 1973, via Wikipedia).

The local history magazine is called The Leopard, the shopper’s creche is called “Leaping Leopards” and one of the…

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