Cats have always had a special appeal to poets, exhibiting many human attributes, not least the characteristic Scottish trait of thrawnness. According to legend, the Scots were the first northern people to keep cats—Fergus I of Scotland is said to have brought one from Portugal in the fourth century BC—and Scots have taken cats to their hearts ever since. This anthology of more than 60 poems explores the relationship between people and felines from Henryson’s 15th-century account of “Gib Hunter, our Jolie Cat” through 18th-century Aesopian tales and 19th-century cat-and-mouse tussles to more modern depictions of this domestic yet mysterious animal by poets such as Alastair Reid, who explore the ambivalent side of “the tiger who eats from the hand.” The collection features the work of J. K. Annand, George Bruce, Valerie Gillies, Kathleen Jamie, Maurice Lindsay, George Macbeth, Norman MacCaig, Brian McCabe, Edwin Morgan, Tom Pow, Iain Crichton Smith, and Allan Ramsay, among many others. Also included in this beautifully presented gift edition are a number of traditional poems and nursery rhymes along with charming line illustrations by James Hutcheson.
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