In the last few days we’ve introduced you to the worryingly strange Purple Aki who loves to intimidate people and touch their muscles uninvited. We’ve also spoken about Spitman, the London based foot fetish guy who pays kids to spit and piss on him. As if we needed any more worryingly odd people on our fair isle, today we introduce to you Greenock’s rat-eating Catman.
Greenock is a quaint, scenic Scottish fishing town, it’s not the kind of place where you would expect to find a greasy half man / half cat on the prowl (although I’m not sure exactly what sort of town you would expect to find that sort of a creature to be fair). The beautiful Victorian buildings and hill top sunsets are a million miles away from what lurks in the undergrowth at night.
As with London town’s Spitman, the Greenock Catman was considered to be nothing more than an urban myth. Descriptions of black forms with glowing eyes had been passed between terrified school children, the stuff of nightmares was presumed to be just that – dreams. After all, who would expect there to be a genuine rat-chewing man scrabbling around in the hedgerows of an evening. But over the years enough video footage and photographs have proven that this guy is the real deal and no mistake.
The police, who had often been alerted to the critter, were also skeptical. Many thought the Catman was a harmless prankster who had set out to put the willies up drunks walking home of an evening. But the stories always shared a similar thread: he always crawled, he rarely spoke and he always had a rat with him. Finally, the following weird grainy footage was taken by a local boy in 2007 and it put the doubters to bed:
CREEPY. AS. HELL.
So the rat-gobbling Greenock Catman was a real-life human. Not an apparition, a dream or a hybrid human / wolverine. He was a guy, and it seems he was an odd guy. As you can imagine, the video did the rounds amongst the youth of the town. Even social services decided they would send out a case worker to look for him, but they came back empty handed.
The amazing things is that these tales of the Greenock Catman date back to the 70’s. If that’s true this poor, strange guy has been crawling on his belly eating rats for four decades. That’s no life to live. One urban myth goes that he was a Russian sailor who got stranded in Scotland and was forced to live on the streets.
Others claim he was a victim of a mob beating which broke his legs and forced him into hiding. Others still thought he was an escapee from a local mental institute. Some say he’s been taken into care a number of times but he can’t handle it and always leaves and returns to his favourite spot in the scrubland of Greenock.
This comes from the mouth of an alleged eyewitness:
Catman is definitely real. He gave me a hell of a fright. The first time I saw him it was just getting dark, and all I saw were his eyes. His face is totally black like in the video. He would lie at Scotts Lane path in the bushes behind the fence, pointing at cat meat that was left for cats, asking me to pass it through the fence. I think he was scared to go onto the path for it. I used to go buy donor kebabs for him when coming home from dancing. He hasn’t been seen in ages now, since the council put corrugated iron up so he couldn’t be fed.
He is definitely real, not a myth. I heard young boys gave him a heavy kicking. Young neds in Greenock are evil.
Next came the charge of a documentarian who asked some tough questions about the Catman’s origins. He met blocks at every turn and a film that was planned to be half an hour long ended up being just a 5 minute section:
So, although the Greenock Catman looks terrifying, it sounds like he is harmless enough. He’s shocked random strangers, but not on purpose. Eating rats is gross, but if you’re cold and peckish I bet they’re delicious. The nice thing is that the people of Greenock aren’t hell bent on flushing him out and having him locked away. Like the guy said in the documentary, those people that do feed him want to keep him safe and away from prying eyes:
I live in Greenock and I can vouch the Catman exists. He has several spots he stays in, behind the shops at the bus station or around the abandoned warehouses. the local takeaways leave stuff out for him and every now and again you will find new blankets by one of his areas that someone has left for him. He was institutionalized once but Couldn’t handle it. He doesn’t like people but the people here make sure he’s taken care of as much as he chooses to be. Cups of tea or soup will be left in certain spots, food. I know one woman who drops him off a meal every Saturday evening on her way to bingo and she makes sure he has a hat when it gets cold. I suppose its the true definition of care in the Community.
Sightings of Catman are still going up on his Facebook page (which he obviously hasn’t set up himself), so it seems that he is doing as well as can be expected, living behind a fence in the winter of a Scottish town. If any SC fans up north ever spot the man, make sure to send us a piccy. But if you do see him, leave him a Pepperami or something nice like that, OK?
To read about the mystery of the Bennington Triangle Vanishings, click HERE.