Camille Dressler


camille dressler

Location: Small Isles
gaelic culture

Canna's cats trail

If you visit Canna today, you will see colourful cats appearing here and there: Cats gu leòr (Cats galore) form a trail inspired by the cats that belonged to John and Margaret Campbell of Canna House.

Along with their life-long interest for folklore, history, art and Gaelic culture, John and Margaret, who gifted the island to the National Trust for Scotland in 1981, had indeed a passion for cats. From the time they bought Canna in 1938, they had cats of all shapes and sizes, some still living in Canna House to this day.

Some were moggies, others were prize Siamese, but all had their own personalities. Discovering more about the Canna House cats as she worked on the Canna House archive, Fiona Mackenzie felt that the cats’ stories deserved to be told as they could contribute both to the story of the house and the island. In 2018, during a week-long creative residency, the two artists she was able to commission, decorated each of the 12 cats in the trail according to stories from the Canna archives.

Since then, visiting children - and adults - love searching for each and every cat from Canna pier to the Sanday bridge using the clue sheet helpfully provided. Posting a selfie with your favourite cat on the Canna cats' facebook page is a must of course!

More information on visiting the area can be found here.