Time is a strange commodity. Sometimes it drags, sometimes it
flies, sometimes it creeps up and catches you unawares. It did just
that to me recently when my wife Isobel asked me for a bit of old
tartan for the cat's basket. In the office I rummaged around in a
large bag of scraps in the storeroom and found a piece of Douglas
that had seen better days.
When I spread it out on the cat's bed at home, I was instantly
transported back 8 years to a run-down croft in the Highlands. For
that welcoming but sadly neglected little dwelling was home to two
cats and their master, the late Jamie Scarlett MBE, although Jamie
would insist that the relationship was reversed - they were the
masters and he was the pet.
The trigger for that instant recall was the cat hairs on that
piece of tartan, for Twinkle and Qwerty were no respecters of
Jamie's retirement pursuit of tartan weaving and would deposit
themselves and their surplus hair on any convenient bundle of
fabric that was lying around.
Cat hairs on a length of hand woven tartan must be provenance
par excellence and worthy of a substantial premium!