Church-going cat stars in own book

Fred the cat has four books written about him and his antics

A CHURCH-going cat has had his antics celebrated in a new book.

Fred the cat regularly attends St Patrick’s in Edinburgh and can often be seen joining in with the hymns and helping to boost church coffers.

The four-legged church-goer even shares a house with the priests and gets to sleep on the presidential chair.

Now the antics of Fred are being serialised in a set of books written by parishioner Eleanor MacDonald.

And the books have become as popular as the mischievous moggy with proceeds going into church funds.

Mrs MacDonald, a private English and maths tutor, began writing the stories after her husband Clayton put the idea in her head.

The 53-year-old said: “My husband just suddenly said, ‘you should do a story about Fred because he’s quite a character’.

“I had a go and handed them in with trepidation to Father Michael because he is in the stories and, fortunately, he liked them and said I should try and sell them in the shop.”

Mrs MacDonald has penned and illustrated four books so far depicting Fred’s fictional adventures.

But the stories also have some similarities to real life for Fred.

In the first story, simply called Fred, the cat disappears from his home within the parish house and no-one can find him.

In one of the books Fred finds himself stuck on a rock

It mirrors an incident which happened in 2006 when Fred went missing for three weeks.

But now Mrs MacDonald has to think of new characters as Father Michael has left St Patrick’s and former parish priest Father Kieran has also left.

She said: “The books have been popular with the parishioners as they know Fathers Michael and Kieran, who have both gone to pastures new now.

“I will probably write the next one with our new priest, Father Desmond, if he’s happy with that.”

She added: “Fred is well known at St Patrick’s, which is why the stories have been popular. They’re completely fictional, but I’m sure that people can imagine Fred having  these adventures.”

Fred has been living at St Patrick’s since 2003 after coming from a local cat rescue organisation.

He often follows the priests into the church and has been known to “dance around” during hymns.