All of these London-based sculptures celebrate cats who were well-loved by their owners. Now immortalised in bronze, they continue to be admired by both tourists and Londoners. It is tempting to give them a stroke and a tickle under the chin, and tell them that they are 'a very fine cat indeed'.
Trim the cat was born in 1799 on board the HMS Reliance on a voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to Botany Bay. In this sculpture he is depicted, in bronze, with Matthew Flinders who Trim sailed with on HMS Investigator as it circumnavigated the Australian mainland.
Flinders described Trim as 'one of the finest animals I ever saw... [his] robe was a clear jet black, with the exception of his four feet, which seemed to have been dipped in snow and his under lip, which rivaled them in whiteness. He had also a white star on his breast'.
This statue is at Euston Railway Station. There are other statues of Trim in Sydney, Port Lincoln and Adelaide in Australia, and at Donington, Lincolnshire.
Mark Richards (b.1958)
Bob was the feline companion of James, a recovering drug addict and busker. He wrote about his experiences in the 2012 book 'A Street Cat Named Bob', which was subsequently made into a successful film. This sculpture is situated on Islington Green, opposite the Waterstones bookshop where James wrote the book. Bob was sculpted by Mid Wales-based artist Tanya Russell.
I love big ginger cats and I was lucky enough to see the real Bob once, wearing his scarf and sitting with James whilst he busked in Covent Garden. It's still one of the most exciting times I have spotted a celebrity in London.
Tanya Russell (b.1975) and James Bowen (b.1979)
Bronze, granite & oak
Humphry was a ginger Tom who was the resident cat for 18 years at the Mary Ward Centre in Queen Square, where the artist, Marcia Solway, was a student of sculpture.
Humphry is now immortalised in bronze and sits near a children's playground at Old Gloucester Street, Holborn, Camden. His ears appear to be worn down, so he has probably been well petted and stroked over the years.
Marcia Debra Solway (1958–1992)
Bronze & granite
Hodge was one of Samuel Johnson's cats, immortalised in James Boswell's 'Life of Johnson'. The statue is in Gough Square in the City London, where Dr Johnson lived (at no. 17).
Hodge is shown in this sculpture seated on a dictionary with oyster shells beside him. The writing engraved on the plaque says: 'HODGE/ "a very fine cat indeed" / belonging to / SAMUEL JOHNSON (1709–1784)'.
Bronze & Portland stone
H 50 cm
Sam the cat is shown climbing down a pillar adjoining a small section of wall in Queen Square, Bloomsbury, Camden.
A free-standing metal sign on the left side of the sculpture tells us that it was donated by the local community in affectionate memory of Patricia Penn (Penny) (1914–1992). Patricia was a local resident, an active member of the Queen Square Residents' Association and a cat lover. Sam was one of her cats.
Bronze & brick
Dick Whittington's Cat
The inscription on the stone details the career of the medieval merchant and city dignitary Sir Richard Whittington (c.1354–1423), including his three terms as Lord Mayor of London. The memorial marks the legendary site where 'Dick Whittington' Sir Richard's folkloric alter ego, returning home discouraged after a disastrous attempt to make his fortune in the city, heard the bells of St Mary-le-Bow ring.
The work was restored in 1935, and the cat sculpture, by Jonathan Kenworthy, was added 1964. In the pantomime 'Dick Whittington', the cat has been given the names Thomas, Tommy, Tommy Tittlemouse or Mouser.
Jonathan Kenworthy (b.1943)
Black Kellymount limestone & Portland stone