Ralph the curious library cat

Portobello library had an unusual visitor.

By Paulette Myrie

Portobello librarians were left smiling when a cat strolled into their library for a look around and then sauntered out after satisfying its curiosity.

The white short-haired cat trotted through the automatic doors of the Edinburgh library and into the staff office in the hallway to nose around the books and boxes that were on the floor.

The fearless feline was spotted by staff wandering around their office with its tail in the air and browsing anything in its path.

When the cat didn’t find anything of interest, it trotted back to the entrance and when the doors parted it strutted outside without a backward glance.

Ralph cat
Ralph checking the way is clear before trotting into Portobello library. Photo: Paulette Myrie

Local library users chuckled as they recognised the mysterious moggie without a collar and said his name was Ralph.

Iain Campbell, 54, said, “I’ve seen Ralph about. He lives along the road and the library is part of his territory, so I’m not surprised he came in.”

Elsie Darwin, 65, said, “I’ve seen him sitting behind hedges and cars. He’s not a stray, he’s owned by somebody. He’s definitely an outdoor cat.”

Paul Hudson, library manager said, “Ralph’s a nice looking and nicely behaved cat with a lovely temperament. I’d say he’s about five or six years old. I don’t mind him coming in, but we have to be careful that’s not too often in case someone’s allergic to cats.”

Gavin May, assistant librarian said, “The automatic doors made it easy for Ralph to come in. I couldn’t have seen him coming in when we had push open doors.”