Last May I reported on the existence of one Hamish McHamish, a large, fluffy tomcat in St. Andrews, Scotland, who, though formally owned, roamed the town freely, acquiring noms and fusses from all and sundry. He even had a fancy £5,000 bronze statue erected by the townspeople who loved him.
So I am sad to report that, according to The Independent, Hamish just passed away from a chest infection at age 15. It appears that he was euthanized after doing poorly.
Despite belonging to Marianne Baird, Mr McHamish adopted a nomadic life. He was indeed a remarkable cat who stalked the auld grey toon of St Andrews with majesty and pride. He had many homes, from student flats to shop windows. His ginger fur could be witnessed on coats across the town with many visitors, students and residents stopping to give the tom cat a cuddle.
I wish I had been able to see him. I was in St. Andrews not that long ago, but that was before I knew about Hamish. Here’s a video of him.
The Independent continues:
Mr McHamish was so well-loved by the town that in the end Mrs Baird was forced to get replacement pets to keep her company. Mr McHamish was just never home. In true St Andrews style, he was out networking across the town. He had his own ‘Hamish recommends’ section in Waterstones, which was stocked with everything from fish cookbooks to cat-based tales and often slept in the sun in the South Street estate agents. This year also saw the publication of his fantastic ‘biography’ -Hamish McHamish, Cool Cat About Town, by Susan McMullan.
There will be no replacement, I think, as how many cats who have homes roam so freely about a town, befriending its residents?
Farewell, old moggie. Local reader Anne, who called my attention to Hamish’s demise, also took and sent a photo of the shrine that has popped up around his statue. He clearly was greatly loved: