The King of the Cats


This folklore comes from Scotland, which has been passed down from generation to generation.

Before shooting was like it is today in Scotland, two men spent every autumn in the north living in a lodge many miles from other homes, along with their dogs, an old woman that did all the cooking for them, and her black cat.

After a day of shooting birds and not retrieving all of them, one of the young men said he was going out to backtrack their steps and search for the birds they had shot. He said he would return before sunset.

The other man agreed and off younger of the two went. After waiting a very long time, past their normal suppertime, the man began to worry about what could have happened to the other younger one.

Finally, the young man came back, very tired, however, he did not give any explanation as to why he was so late. After dinner, while sitting around the fire with their pipes, their dogs laying at their feet and the black cat sitting on the hearth between them napping or at cat napping so to speak with his eyes half-open, the man began his story.

He said that he had a curious story to tell. He explained how he left and followed along the route. A fog came up about the time when he was ready to turn around and he became lost. He wandered around for a very long time and did not know where he was. Then he said he saw a light and headed toward it. He was hoping it was a lantern from other hunters in the area.

He said that when he got close to the light it vanished. He then climbed into an old oak tree to try to learn where he was or to see the light again. Once up in the oak tree he realized the oak tree was hollow and the light he had seen was inside the hollow tree. As he peered down into the tree, he saw what appeared to be a church. Inside this church, a funeral was taking place. He said he heard singing, saw the coffin, which was surrounding by mourning carrying torches. Then he stopped and stated that his friend would not believe who the mourners were.

His friend begged him to continue and even laid down his pipe in anticipation. The dogs were asleep, but the black cat seemed to be sitting up listening every attentively. The man continued his tale. The coffin and torches were being carried by cats. On the coffin, there were markings of a crown and scepter. Before he could say another word, the black cat made a high pitching shriek and yelled, “Old Peter’s dead! I am now the King o’ the Cats!” Without hesitating, the cat jumped up the chimney and was never seen again.

The King of the Cats

The King of the Cats

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