Hamish McHamish

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Hamish McHamish
Hamish McHamish In Bookshop.jpg
Hamish at Waterstones bookshop in St Andrews
Species Felis catus
Sex Male
Born 1999
Died (2014-09-11)11 September 2014 (age 15)
St Andrews, Fife, Scotland
Nation from Scotland
Owner Marianne Baird
Appearance Ginger and white, green eyes

Hamish McHamish (1999 – 11 September 2014) was a ginger cat who lived in the town of St Andrews, Fife, Scotland. He came to national and international prominence after the publication of a book entitled Hamish McHamish of St Andrews: Cool Cat About Town.[1][2]

Hamish built up a following on social media, with a dedicated Facebook page[3] and Twitter account set up by fans.[4]

Early life[edit]

Hamish was born a kitten in 1999 and initially owned by Marianne Baird, a retired BBC producer. In the first year of his life he lived at Ms Baird's home.[5] During this time he became increasingly nomadic, often spending days away from home, being fed and watered at various homes in the town. He was known to spend most of his time in and around the houses and businesses on South Street, St Andrews, close to his original home.

Ms. Baird still cared for Hamish's well-being by ensuring he attended a veterinary surgeon every year for a health check and vaccinations.[6]

Rise to fame[edit]

Home to the University of St Andrews, St Andrews has a large population of tourists and students who had encountered Hamish throughout the years. Hamish had several regular spots where he spent his days. These were primarily local businesses near the Holy Trinity Church[7] and Church Square in St Andrews. The creation of a Hamish McHamish Facebook profile, with in-character messages supposedly composed by the cat, raised his profile further; he had nearly 5000 Facebook friends,[8] and visitors to the town specifically sought him out to be photographed with him. A local bookshop had a "Hamish recommends" section, with cookbooks for fish and fiction featuring cats.[9]

The interest created by visitors, students and townsfolk led to the publication of a book about his everyday activities. Hamish McHamish of St Andrews: Cool Cat About Town[10] was written by Susan McMullan.

In January 2014, Hamish was chased by two dogs and escaped by climbing a tree. He was later helped to safety by students of the university and staff from Dynamic Hair, a hairdressers he frequented (where he was often seen sleeping in the waiting room and would enjoy getting his hair combed). This incident encouraged Jim Leishman, Provost of Fife, to ask dog owners to ensure their pets were kept on a lead while near Hamish.[11]

He had been featured on BBC television's The One Show, and his story also appeared in a number of newspapers from across the world.[12]


Hamish McHamish statue St Andrews

On 5 April 2014 a bronze statue of Hamish by David Annand[13] was unveiled in Logies Lane[14] by Jim Leishman.[9] The funding for the statue was raised by a public donation campaign[1] started by Flora Selwyn, the editor of St Andrews in Focus.[15]


Hamish died on 11 September 2014. A statement on his Facebook group said:[16]

In the end, the chest infection that he had been battling proved too much for him and the kindest thing to do was to let him go. Thank you Hamish for the years of joy you’ve given us and for letting us all be part of your life. May your remarkable spirit live on forever in the town you loved... and ruled! Here’s to you, old chum.


  • McMullan, Susan (2012). Hamish McHamish Cool Cat About Town. Black and White Publishing. ISBN 978-1845025021.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Merz, Theo (9 November 2013). "Hamish McHamish: cat to be immortalised with £5,000 bronze statue". Telegraph. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  2. ^ McMullan, Susan (2012). Hamish McHamish of St Andrews: Cool Cat About Town. Edinburgh: Black & White. ISBN 1-84502-502-4.
  3. ^ "Hamish McHamish". Facebook. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Hamish McHamish (@hamishstandrews) on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  5. ^ "Google Maps". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  6. ^ "STV News". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  7. ^ "Holy Trinity Parish Church". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  8. ^ [1] accessed 05/04/14
  9. ^ a b Morse, Felicity (11 September 2014). "Hamish McHamish dead: St Andrew's town cat passes away after battling chest infection - People - News - The Independent". The Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2014.
  10. ^ McMullan, Susan (2012). Hamish McHamish of St Andrews : cool cat about town. Edinburgh: Black & White. ISBN 978-1845025021.
  11. ^ "Daily Record". Retrieved 24 March 2014.
  12. ^ "Canadian Broadcasting Company". Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  13. ^ "David Annand official website". 14 October 2014. Retrieved 14 October 2014.
  14. ^ "Behind the statue of Hamish McHamish". Visit St Andrews. 20 March 2014. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  15. ^ St Andrews In Focus magazine, an independently owned & edited bimonthly magazine.
  16. ^ Callaghan, Carla (11 September 2014). "In pictures: Hamish McHamish the famous St Andrews cat dies aged 15". Daily Record. Retrieved 11 September 2014.