Scotland town raises $8,000 to commemorate beloved stray cat

The real Hamish (left), and the statue of the feline as created by sculptor David Annand (right). (Photo credit: G. Jennings/DC Thomson)

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to declare Hamish the king kitty of St. Andrews, Scotland.

Furry orange-and-white cat Hamish, now 14-years-young, once belonged to St. Andrews resident Marianne Baird. But one day, the friendly feline left home, deciding he’d much prefer to be the whole town’s pet. He spends his days catching up with pals, delighting tourists, and visiting the town’s shops, homes, and university buildings. He still gets a yearly veterinary exam and vaccinations, but Hamish primarily lives the life of a wanderer, according to his former owner.

Hamish has become something of a local celebrity — and the subject of local legend.

“The legend is if you don’t let him into your home and feed him you will have bed luck,” St. Andrews in Focus magazine editor Flora Selwyn tells of famous Hamish.

Children adore Hamish; in fact, a recent art show in the town square included kids’ drawings and paintings of St. Andrews’ most famous feline.

Then, in 2012, the fluffy ginger cat was featured in his very own book. Hamish McHamish, Cool Cat About Town by Susan McMullan follows Hamish as he makes his rounds in St. Andrews, visiting his friends, window shopping, and touring some of St. Andrews’ most famous sites.

Late last year, St. Andrews residents decided to further immortalize their favorite four-legged friend, raising more than £5,000 ($8,000 USD) to create and erect a bronze likeness of little Hamish.

The statue, designed by sculptor David Annand, was officially revealed in a public ceremony April 5. The celebration included a performance by the St. Andrews Opera and a cappella singing group The Alleycats.

Selwyn, one of the townspeople who led the fundraising drive for Hamish’s statue, is thrilled.

“It has been a very popular idea. Hamish is a wonderful animal,” Selwyn tells The Scotsman. “Our statue is a way of saying thank you to Hamish for being so ‘purrfectly’ adorable and to celebrate him and the joy he brings us.”

Selwyn says the bronze statue ensures that Hamish will live on in legend for many years to come.

If you’d like to follow Hamish McHamish’s kitty adventures, check him out on Facebook and Twitter today.

Sources: The Scotsman,