When it comes to Scotland’s Animal Superstars, none outshine Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster. Nessie is known around the world and has been subject of a debate, not for years but for centuries… is Nessie real or imaginary? Equally imaginary is Scotland’s national animal, the unicorn. Despite attempts to create such an animal, the image of the charging white steed with the single spiraled horn projecting from its forehead is one of legend and myth. In Scotland the unicorn is seen as a proud and mighty beast that would rather fight and die than be subjugated.
But Scotland’s history is dotted with stories of other, real animals, some of whom have reached almost legendary status. There’s Greyfriar’s Bobby for example, the Skye terrier who, in the 19th century, guarded his owner’s grave for 14 years. Or Hamish the Heiland Coo whose celebrity was born of the BSE (mad cow disease) outbreak in the late 90’s. Contemporaries include Parsley the cat from Oban and The Wee White Dug (dog), well known on Facebook and Twitter respectively.
So rich is the animal history of Scotland (and we’re not including the natural wildlife like Osprey, red squirrels, dolphin, puffins, and more) that an American writer, Kimberlie Hamilton, now living in Aberdeen, is writing a book about these amazing creatures titled, “Scotland’s Animal Superstars.” Hamilton is an accomplished screen and travel writer and is no stranger to animal stories. Her first book, “Rebel Cats! Brave Tales of Feisty Felines” has been translated into a dozen languages (and counting) and is available around the world. Recently the “Down the Rabbit Hole” radio show named it one of the best books of 2018. A companion work, “Rebel Dogs” is recently completed and set for publication in October.
Currently working on the Superstars manuscript, Hamilton has been busy traveling around Scotland meeting several of the animals to be featured. In Oban it was a day with the aforementioned Parsley while later came a playdate in Edinburgh with Golden George, the #ambassadog for VisitScotland, the nation’s official tourist organization. (Photos courtesy Kimberlie Hamilton)
However, “Scotland’s Animal Superstars” will be more than just cats and dogs. Not to give too much away, but Hamilton shared with us the stories of a pigeon and a penguin that will also feature among the 25 individual profiles in the book. Superstars is set to be published by Cranachan Publishing of the Isle of Lewis, Scotland.
Oddly perhaps, for a writer, it was Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” books that brought Hamilton back to Scotland for her 50th birthday, 30 years after having studied there. Now engaged to a Scotsman met during her student years, Hamilton is not taking any catnaps. Two new projects are in the works for 2019 including a possible third volume in her “Rebel” series.
”Scotland’s Animal Superstars” is set to be published in October.