by Steve Mackan (NVQ)
At first glance, nobody in Scotland stymies the charitable aims of the majority to preserve the native Wildcat. There exists a universal acceptance that Wildcats are worth saving.
They are beautiful, they are quiet, they are rare. No rightminded person would think of their demise as a ‘positive step.’ But some people – some idiots – are wrongminded.
The office of the manager of the Scotland National Football team incurs a mind-scrambling effect on its occupier. The occupier is a lonely pocket of a vast swathe of pro-Wildcatters. In recent times that person has been Gordon Strachan. Today that person is Alex McCleish.
Blinkered by a love of Labradors and enormous half-mile walks, Alex has made his choice quite clear. His long-time personal assistant, Jenny Scott, who wished to stay anonymous told Dem Blades the following:
“Alex goes around telling people about how Wildcats dig up his lawn, how they ‘left not a fucking bean on my Pod Peas’ and how they persistently scratch grooves into his four-by-four. But the truth of it is that he’s making it all up. It’s really strange. Really, really strange. He used to like Wildcats. Used to donate to conservation charities. But ever since he got the Scotland job he’s gone mad with feline anger.”
“they left not a fucking bean on my Pod Peas.”
When I asked Jenny Scott (is her real name) what specific features of Wildcat behavior that McLeish disliked the most, she described his crass opinions with a grimace and a strong cup of tea: “He thinks they’re soft, thinks they can’t communicate, thinks they are poor team players…worst of all, he says all these things but he’s never actually seen one at all!”
Let’s make it our mission to correct those assumptions, the truth of it is that Wildcats are incredible specimens. Rare and in that rarity they hold something that your bog standard feline does not. As ScottishWildCats.co.uk put it, “they are genuine superpredators” and as such, they should be treated with respect.
They are special creatures Wildcats, they “purr, but never meow.” You won’t hear a peep out of the Wildcat that could offend, nor denigrate the opinions of the National Manager. They go about their business quietly and consistently and deserve better treatment from an office that is held in such high esteem. I hope in the future that happens.