railway modelling with a cat
Now we all know that dogs have owners while
cats have staff. At times, the help given by our feline friends to us
railway modellers can have disastrous consequences. For cat lovers such as
myself it is particularly traumatic as one does not dare to shout at the
cat as one knows only too well that they will only sulk and do something
else dreadful like being sick on the duvet. So this page is dedicated to
fellow feline victims under the jack paw of the Furred Reich! Indeed, we
should probably undertake a post-structuralist analysis of the
socio-semiotics of fuhrer/feline inter-contextuality.
Whinge the Egyptian Mau (spotty one) and his constant
companion Lenny the Foreign self colour and Microdot (scale 12"/1ft) during a quieter moment.
Very sadly, Lenny and Microdot have since gone to the big litter box in
Much of the time, modelling leaves me with
hands covered with half dried sticky materials. This is exactly when
Whinge requires attention. I must say that Whinge, realising
that his humans are almost entirely devoid of fur, is remarkably generous
with his. This leaves us with a constant problem of trying to keep Whinge
fur and the railway separate. All our locomotives have had to be
dismantled to remove cat hair from moving parts!
Whinge also hates so much attention being
devoted to the model, rather than himself. To this end, he has on occasion
jumped onto the baseboard. That is until he sat on the signal cabin which
has long sharp finials. One detached and embedded itself in his nether
regions....a stressful moment for us all. We thank Expo Tools for the
pointed tweezers and Ratio for free
His best friend Lenny, a self colour caramel
oriental had to be locked out when we ran the trains due to his inability
to differentiate between trains and mice (we think it's his inbreeding)!
Sadly, our cat Lenny mistook
it for a mouse while it was running round the layout. waiting for his moment
he pounced and with a solid right
claw, hooked it onto a brick step. The locomotive was completely
Lenny was not injured or upset
in any way as a result of this incident.
We have now developed an
advanced attack cat
containment system in conjunction with Zanussi. Destructive cats will also cause less damage if confused.
Mouse over the image below for confuse-a-cat. (Confuse-a-cat patents
pending). We consider this a technological breakthrough compared with
previous efforts. We have been swamped with emails concerning our cat
Another problem is that cats
have to find the right place to sleep. One important rule of cats is to
never sleep in any basket or bed specially provided for them by a human.
Almost anywhere else will do. This means eternal vigilance. A recent
accident at County Gate was caused by a cat who went to sleep deep inside
one of our tunnels.
Cats will sleep anywhere as
long as it is entirely inappropriate!
check this out
Since we brought up these difficult issues
for railway modellers with cats, many other solutions have been
sending us your ideas. We need help!
The years take a toll on us all and our cat
population had reduced down to one....Whinge, the Oriental spotty. Whinge
is now stiff and old and no longer represents a threat to County Gate.
Being a glutton for punishment, he has now been joined by another spotty
(apricot this time) called Holly. She is young and very energetic
and already has managed a couple of forays onto the layout....everything
is back to normal.
Of course, cats do have their uses when
Some people view cats in a very
different light. See here
The cost of producing realistic grass on
model railways is quite high particularly if you elect to use the Noch
electrostatic system. Researchers at County Gate have developed a
new methodology using renewable resources with a low carbon footprint. The
choice of cat breed can be important. We strongly recommend the use of
oriental cats (if available). For smaller scales, we suggest using
always best to select a trusting cat (this
one will require bleaching)
then wash cat
some cats may struggle just a little
not all cats are suitable: this one, for
instance, will REALLY F**K YOU OVER
many cats will require bleaching
Dye cat required colour of grass. The cat above is meadow spring green. (best not to use a dye that requires
this cat has been dyed in 'harvest gold'
cover area to be treated with PVA adhesive and apply cat
For tufts, lightly dab on cat in required places. For
larger areas, hold cat in place using gaffer tape until PVA
is nearly dry, then tear off cat (try not to get your blood on the model). The grass can then be trimmed to length
required. Allow cat to lick off excess PVA from its skin. Whiskers are
excellent for marginal plants such as reeds.
Once used, put aside for recycling and
catch your neighbour's cat. The slight green tinge does fade in time.
OK, so I have got a twisted sense of humour! The
Americans are dumb enough to do things like this for real!
For further reading:
'Narrow Gauge Cats' Ian Allen
'History of cats in 009' 009 Society
Cats and Live Steam 16mm Society
Scratch building RSPCA
Cats of the Welsh Highland Railway FR Society
Older cats of the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway WHHR Portmadoc
National Cats and Railway Modellers Helpline' 0203456789