John Gibson: Why Maisie is the only cat for me

Aileen Paterson
Aileen Paterson
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Never been mad keen about cats. More a dogs man. You know where you are with them. If they don’t like you, they’ll bite your bum. Cats, they’re an altogether different animal. I’ve always had a word for them. Sleekit.

With one exception. Maisie, the Morningside cat. She’s in the driving seat of a No5 bus on the most colourful card I’ve had this Christmas. By far.

Masie from Morningside

Masie from Morningside

We’re talking Aileen Paterson, Maisie creator. It’s been an eventful year for her. A house fire saw her relocated to Edinburgh’s West End but now, after close on six months, she’s back home in her beloved Colonies at Abbeyhill.

Thanks for the card, Aileen. It’s decorating my mantelpiece, pride of place, next to a fraying self-portrait of Norrie Rowan. What of Maisie in the year ahead?

“I’ve been itching to illustrate a story about her, Maisie and the Dragon, and that’ll keep me occupied in January and February. This time she’ll be experiencing the joys of Morningside rather then her adventures abroad. Hopefully the book will be published the year after next.

“Besides, I’ll again be involved in an exhibition in aid of St Columba’s Hospice.”

By the way, Aileen, how old is Maisie? She’s got to be cracking on. You can tell me, I’ll keep it secret. My query brought what you might call a sleekit response. “She’s always about seven.”

No pain in Spain

Wish I were a Scottish pensioner expat living in Spain, then I’d still be getting my winter fuel allowance – double what we get here – paid by our Government. Gets your dander up reading this, doesn’t it? Cameron and his cronies making absolute fuels of us.