A cat who loves flowers has found a way to make them appear on his fur.
Flowers that have been tied to a strand of rope, called floral rope, have appeared on the furry friend’s fur in Ireland.
Flower rope has been used for centuries by Native Americans, and the first recorded case was in 1854, according to the Irish Wildlife Trust.
It was first used for ceremonial purposes, and was only replaced in the 1970s by commercial fishing gear.
The rope was made of a material called polypropylene and was tied to the fur of the cat, allowing him to hang it on the back of his neck, said the Irish Water and Power Council’s conservation director, Anne O’Connor.
“When it was tied it was actually attached to the cat’s tail, which is the main source of heat for him,” she said.
“We would tie a little rope around the tail and then attach the rope to a cord and then hang it from the harness of a fishing boat.”
A man named William O’Bryan bought his first flower at a pet shop in 1864, and later tied it on his cat’s back.
The man used the rope in his home, where it was used for ceremonies and as a “stamp of gratitude” for fish caught.
“It was a symbol of gratitude for the fishing,” Ms O’Brien said.
“I think it was quite a beautiful thing.”
She said he was happy to have the rope around his neck.
“We used to have a lot of fishing trawlers in the village, but now we don’t have any,” she added.
Ms O’Connor said she thought the rope might have become popular in the late 1800s, but the current was not that common.
“There’s nothing to link the use of the rope with that, but I think that’s certainly something that people were interested in,” she explained.
The Irish Water Department said it was aware of the research and the use it had been used, and that there was no evidence to suggest the practice was associated with disease.
The Royal Society of Chemistry said there was a lot more work to be done to understand the biological effects of this knot and its history.
“Until then, we are concerned that we will never have the scientific basis to know whether the knot is the product of disease or not,” said Dr David E. Green, the group’s lead researcher.