Hamish McHamish (1999-2014)

‘local legend and cat about town’

Image: Statute of Hamish in St Andrews

Hamish McHamish became known as St Andrews’ town cat. Born in 1999, Hamish belonged to a retired BBC producer but, from an early age, adopted a nomadic lifestyle. Roaming the streets of St Andrews, he was seen in homes, businesses and even lecture halls across the town.

Hugely popular with students and tourists, Hamish was also active on social media with his own Facebook account [1]. There, he would update his followers on his whereabouts, activties, and meals. He was featured on television, made the news (including getting stuck up a tree and needed rescuing [2]), and even had a book published about his adventures – still available for purchase in local bookshops.

Image: copy of Hamish McHamish book in local bookstore

It is fair to say that Hamish was somewhat of a local celebrity. So, to commemorate him, a public campaign was launched by the editor of the local community magazine St Andrews in Focus to raise funds for a statute of Hamish: ‘[i]f Edinburgh could raise a statue to a mythical dog [Greyfriars Bobby], why not have a statue to a flesh and blood cat with a real history?’ [3]. The campaign raised over £5,000 in donations to fund this statute, forever immortalising Hamish McHamish in one of his favourite places in town.

Image: David Annand at work making the statute

While Hamish died in 2014, he did get to see the statute before he passed away. Staying true to character, however, he did not really seem to be too bothered and walked out in the middle of the unveiling ceremony.

Alongside the statute, his memory also lives on in the works of The Hamish McHamish Foundation, a charity registered shortly after his death with the aim to raise funds for St Andrews [4].

 

References

[1] Hamish McHamish of St Andrews, https://en-gb.facebook.com/HamishMcHamishOfStAndrews/

[2] High jinks for famous ginger tom Hamish McHamish, The Courier, 28 January 2014, https://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/local/fife/231953/high-jinks-for-famous-ginger-tom-hamish-mchamish/

[3] Selwyn, Flora, Behind the Statute of Hamish, 2014, https://www.visitstandrews.com/behind-statue-hamish/

[4] Hamish Foundation, https://hamishfoundation.co.uk/

 

Images

David Annand at work – https://www.visitstandrews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Hamish-David.jpg

Hamish McHamish roaming the streets – https://www.visitstandrews.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/315842_288701604591881_368015007_n-940×625.jpg