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George the Cat Fundraiser

Tributes have flowed from local people, businesses and charities after it was revealed that George the Helensburgh Cat has died.

Following a short illness, the popular feline, who has been a regular sight about the town, passed away in September.

Jackie Hood, his so-called social secretary, said: “He had such a swagger about him and we’re all devastated.”

Thanks to George, a fundraising campaign launched in our magazine contributed more than £1000 to Cats Protection and Alzheimer’s Scotland. The cat also had a following of more than 6000 fans on Facebook.

Tributes were led by Destination Helensburgh, for which George was the inaugural tourism ambassador. The group stated: “George was a wonderful ambassador for Helensburgh and the town’s community spirit. He entertained a huge number of people all over the world.

“He will be greatly missed and his guide to our streets will remain online just now for all to enjoy and remember him by. Thank you to his owners for allowing us to share his adventures to highlight our town.”

George began life as a stray in Paisley before being rescued by Cats Protection, where he remained until Elizabeth and the late Dennis Royal, a former America’s Cup sailor, visited to adopt the centre’s longest resident.

After three years in care, his wanderlust was apparent, as he explored Helensburgh visiting pubs, shops, vets, nurseries, car dealerships and churches, as well as hopping on trains and buses.

When George disappeared for two weeks in 2019, he sparked full-scale searches, before being found 14 miles away by Loch Lomond and retrieved by two of his followers. His death was due to old age and kidney failure.

Jackie said: “His popularity was incredible, it just grew and grew. He was loved by so many people.”

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