by Barbara George, Tellington Ttouch Behaviourist
Castles are home to royalty, so cats will feel quite comfortable living there too! Early inhabitants of castles needed cats to keep pests away; some cats see this as a good reason to remain in residence.
Manderley Castle outside Dublin, Ireland, may be best known as the home of the singer Enya. She lives a quiet life with a number of cats as companions
Staying in Ireland, a legend of the Belfast Castle says that the occupants of the castle will only have good luck if a white cat lives there. There are nine sculptures, plaques, paintings and mosaics around the Cat Garden celebrating cats. These include a Shrub trimmed in the shape of a cat, a bench resembling a cat playing with string and a bronze statue.
Further north, at Castle Fraser in Scotland, Mr McGregor the cat received a long service award, both for keeping the vermin under control and for his interaction with visitors.
Not far away, at Drum Castle, a rare Scottish Wildcat has been caught on camera. These are endangered cats, thought to be on the verge of extinction.
In the Far East, Japan also has castles famous for their cats.
Hikone Castle has a mascot cat, Hikonyan, to commemorate the white cat that saved the first Lord of Hikone from a lightning strike by beckoning him into a temple. Almost every day there is a re-enactment of the story, which draws many visitors to the Castle.
Shortly after torrential rain and mudslides Sanjuro the cat ran away from home and settled at the Bitchu Matsuyama Castle. His owner later agreed to him living at the castle as Cat Lord. His presence has boosted the number of visitors to the castle.
The White Heron Castle is considered the most beautiful castle in Japan; adding to this are the cats found in the inner castle grounds.
Only in name, the Katz Castle in Germany (short for Neukatzenelnbogen) is located near Maus Castle.
No doubt there are many more castles and stately homes that have cats, as they are a drawcard for visitors as well as effective at reducing the rodent population.
To contact Barbara, please email firstname.lastname@example.org