The contents of this Register are intended for research purposes only. The heraldic emblems found in the Register may not be reproduced in any form or in any media without the written consent of the Canadian Heraldic Authority and/or the recipient.
Registration of Arms
October 20, 2023
Vol. VIII, p. 216
Arms of John Maurice Catto
Or on a chevron between in chief two lymphads Sable sails unfurled Gules flagged Sable and in base a hand Gules, a cinquefoil Argent between four garbs Or;
The Canadian Heraldic Authority does not have confirmed symbolism for this emblem. The following comments are hypotheses only. The black chevron on a yellow field with black sailing ships are common to other Catto coats of arms. The five-petalled flower is emblematic of Scottish Frasers. It likely alludes to the historical connection between Mr. Catto’s family and the Frasers, one ancestor having been the grieve, or estate manager, to the Frasers of Memsie, and Mr. Catto’s grandfather having come from Fraserburgh before immigrating to Canada. The sheaves of wheat possibly refer to his oldest traceable ancestor in Scotland, who was a farmer.
A demi-wildcat guardant proper holding between its forepaws a cinquefoil Argent;
The Canadian Heraldic Authority does not have confirmed symbolism for this emblem. The following comments are hypotheses only. A wildcat is frequently found in Scottish Catto crests, as a pun on the surname. The five-petalled flower repeats the symbolism of the Arms.
These words are taken from a longer expression used by clan Chattan and affiliated families, including Cattos, “Touch not the cat but a glove.” The glove refers to the pads of a wildcat’s paws when its claws have been retracted. The phrase is therefore a warning not to engage with the members of the clan – represented by the wildcat – when they are “ungloved,” or ready to fight.