Mo with one of the kittens
Feeding time

The Cat Man

In all the yards over the years there has been the Cat Men!
The men who gave up their spare time, their money and even their holidays to feed and care for the strays that had made the yards their home.
The man pictured here is Mr Moses Loveman. He lived in Greenock but traveled the 3 miles daily, come rain or snow to see to 'his animals'.
Mo went out to work every day with 3 bottles of milk in his pockets and few cans of cat food. The cats knew him well and would appear from every corner when he arrived in the morning.
Three bottles was as much as he could get in his pockets so in his dinner (lunch) time he would got to the shops and buy more. Together with fish scraps from the fishmonger and the cat food he brought himself, he managed to feed the cats of Lithgows East Yard.

The East Yard welding shop where at 7am 365 days a year Mo turned out to feed the cats.

"It began in 1939. The first a kitten that was obviously starving had enough courage to come to me and beg for food. After sharing my piece (sandwich) that day I remembered to fill an 8 oz medicine bottle with milk the next morning and stuck it in my pocket.
It was a black and white cat that lived to be 16 years old and had many kittens of its own.
It is easier now with the new yard layout. Before the mothers used to keep them hidden till they were 3 or 4 months old. I manage to keep them down to about a dozen.
The gaffer (boss) would say "MO canny be in yit cause theres all his animals waiting on him" When they see me they all come running with their tails in the air.
Mo gently says "Well you canny see them starve"

Mo would call in the help of the RSPCA when needs must but he has been both vet, nurse ands even when required mid-wife himself at times.
He did take home one cat that was badly injured in the yard. It was burned at the furnace and he treated it with olive oil and nursed it back to health.
When questioned as to how much this all cost him he was very vague, but did admit to buying 35 pints of milk a week. The fish monger was a sympathetic soul so the fish scraps came for free. Even so it must have cost him about £2 a week an expensive hobby in those days!

When this photo was taken in 1961 Mo had been feeding the cats for the last 22 years!

This page last modified on Friday, April 02, 2010

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