ST ANDREWS’ most famous feline, Hamish McHamish, is to be immortalised.
A fundraising campaign has been unveiled to commission a life-size statue of the shaggy, ginger-coated moggy, which it is reckoned could match that of Greyfriars Bobby in Edinburgh in popularity as a tourist attraction.
Hamish’s fame spread even further late last autumn with the launch of a book focusing on his life and exploits in the university town, written and illustrated by Susan McMullan and entitled ‘Hamish McHamish, Cool Cat About Town.’
A best seller, it has proved to be the “purrfect” tribute to the truly remarkable cat, who has roamed the heart of the town centre for around 14 years.
Behind the idea of a statue to honour Hamish is Flora Selwyn, editor of the popular and award-winning magazine, St Andrews in Focus.
She said: ”Following on from the success of Susan’s book, it seemed a good time to consolidate the fame of Hamish.
“The book is so delightful, it occurred to me that, perhaps, a Greyfriars Bobby equivalent might be a good idea for the town – after all, Hamish has been giving pleasure to St Andrews for many years.”
As a first step, Flora contacted the renowned Scottish scupltor, David Annand, himself a cat lover, who has enthusiastically agreed a commission to make a bronze statue of the green- eyed pet with its fluffy, white mane.
The fundraising campaign has a target figure of £5000 and already there is more than £1000 in the bank, along with numerous pledges, including from as far away as Canada.
It has caught the imagination of both town and gown, and supporters have already started crowdfunding at http://bloomvc.com – those interested should scroll along to the Hamish project and follow instructions.
Church Square, in the town centre, is the favoured option for the site of the statue, added Flora.
Hamish is adored by local residents, students and tourists from all over the world, has almost 5000 Facebook friends and just loves to be photographed with his many admirers.
He has numerous haunts on his travels in St Andrews – everything from estate agents, pubs and charity headquarters to banks, shops and hairdressing salons, where he is made most welcome and even has his own special seats to curl up and rest.
•Anyone wishing to contribute to the campaign can do so at the Santander Bank in Market Street, sort code: 09-01-28 A/C: 36141998 in the name of Mrs Flora Selwyn (Hamish) and the fundraising closes at the end of this month.