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Author publishes series of children’s books as beloved St Andrews cat Hamish McHamish goes global

Scottish author Robert Lewis Heron, now based in the States, has used Hamish McHamish as his inspiration for a series of stories for children.
Scottish author Robert Lewis Heron, now based in the States, has used Hamish McHamish as his inspiration for a series of stories for children.

A series of children’s books based on a much-loved ginger cat that prowled the streets of St Andrews for more than 15 years has been published.

Hamish McHamish, who died in 2014, was said to bring luck to local businessed when he visited and was so well-known that the traffic in the Fife town regularly stopped for him.

A bronze statue was erected in his honour in the town centre.

Fife Provost Jim Leishman and Flora Selwyn with the statue of Hamish<br />St Andrews’ most famous feline, Hamish McHamish.

And now Scottish author and artist Robert Lewis Heron has decided it is time for the famouf feline to go global.

Robert, who lives in Sarasota in Florida, used his time in lockdown to come up with the illustrated stories following Hamish on his adventures with his friends and the local children of St Andrews.

Four books and a colouring book have been launched on Amazon with proceeds going to The Hamish Foundation, a St Andrews-based charity that supports young people and community initiatives.

The first book is entitled Hamish and the Magic Golf Ball.

The collaboration resulted from a conversation last Christmas between author Robert, his wife Diane and their friends Jerry and Linda-anne Beaulier who were visiting the US from their St Andrews home.

Robert said: “The Beauliers were telling us about their work with the beach wheelchairs project in St Andrews, and we were so taken with everything they had done. As we got more information from them about The Hamish Foundation, we knew we wanted to help in some way.

“We heard all about Hamish and, in early June, we discussed with the Beauliers the idea of doing a children’s book.

“That night, Hamish was in my dreams and I went to my studio the next morning and started his story. One story led to another and the series of books following his adventures moved from dream to publication.”

St Andrews cat Hamish McHamish.

Debbie MacCallum, of the Hamish Foundation, said everyone involved with the charity was “absolutely amazed and grateful” to Robert for turning his idea into reality.

She said: “The donation of his time, his creativity and his investment to support this fundraising initiative is wonderful and we thank him and his wife Diane for progressing everything so quickly.”

The books will also be for sale in J & G Innes, St Andrews.

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