The famous feline Hamish McHamish is to get his own life size statue to celebrate his role as the unofficial town cat.
Earlier this year, a campaign was launched by Flora Selwyn, editor of the St Andrews in Focus magazine, to immortalise the much-loved ginger cat with a bronze statue.
The campaign raised over £5,000 and it is hoped that the statue, which will be created by artist David Annand, will be on display in Church Square by Christmas.
The idea for the statue is similar to the famous Greyfriars Bobby monument in Edinburgh. Greyfriars Bobby was famous for guarding its owner’s grave for 14 years until its death. The story has been made into several books and films and is told across the world. The Skye terrier is commemorated with a statue near the grave and has become a popular tourist attraction.
Ms Selwyn commented: “It’s lovely that we will have a rival to Greyfriars Bobby, it will be one-up for St Andrews. It has been a very popular idea. Hamish is a wonderful animal.”
Hamish has become a town celebrity in recent years. At the age of one, he left his home to explore the town and has relied on the people of St Andrews to look after him for the 14 years since.
He is now welcomed as the town’s collective pet. He has his own seat in some of the local businesses. He is fed by residents of the town and often visits Dynamic Hair for a brush down. He has even been known to make his way into some University lectures.
His owner, Marianne Baird, still ensures that Hamish gets his yearly check up but otherwise, he belongs only to the town and is very independent. Ms Selwyn explained: “He is so clued up. When you watch him cross the road he waits for the lights to change. The legend is if you don’t let him into your home and feed him you will have bad luck.”
Hamish has his own twitter account and has around 4,000 friends on Facebook from across the world. The people of St Andrews often upload and share pictures of his antics around town. He has also appeared in a book entitled Cool Cat around Town by St Andrews resident Susan McMullan. He also recently appeared on The One Show on BBC One.
Ms Selwyn explained: “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.”
“We want to tell the world just how fabulous and unique Hamish is and make sure his story is enjoyed for generations to come.”