Thousands raised in memory of Cornwall’s most famous cat

Thousands of pounds have been raised in memory of ‘Cornwall’s most famous cat’.

Much adored Harvey – who was famous around the coastal town of St Ives – sadly passed away on August 28 after sustaining injuries from a dog attack.

The attack left him with serious injuries to two legs, with one broken and one almost torn off completely.

The feline, who turned 17 this year according to his Facebook page, originally made it through surgery but sadly passed sometime later.

Now a fundraiser has raised over £5,000 in memory of dear Harvey and will go towards cremation and vet costs.

Nicola Clark, who organised the fundraiser and runs Harvey’s Facebook page where he has over 2,000 friends, says any spare money will go to a potential memorial and to charity.

Barbara Rottenbury, 72, says that Harvey lived in a local furniture shop as a kitten many years ago before being taken in by neighbours.

“He kept scratching the chairs, so they wanted to get rid of him [the furniture shop]. So Colin and Jean took him home and called him Harvey – they didn’t even buy a sofa in the end,” she said.

“Harvey lived with us for a while when they moved away, and then he settled in the Cornerways guesthouse. He was quite frail and wasn’t eating well, but we didn’t expect to lose him this way.

“He meant so much to the people of St Ives, it’s such a massive loss to the community. Tourists used to come just to visit him. St Ives won’t be the same without him.”

Fan Jon Harvey pictured with cat Harvey in St Ives
(Image: Jon Harvey)

31-year-old Jon Davies regularly visits St Ives – around four or five times a year – and says Harvey was one of his “friends” who he would make the journey for.

He said “He was easily Cornwall’s most famous cat. He was in brochures, he did loads for the tourism here.

“Anyone who visited St Ives more than once knew who he was. He would never attack a dog, not at his age.

“He was great with our dog when he stayed with us. It’s just such a horrible way to go, we’ll miss him a lot.”

Hundreds of people – locals and visitors- have paid tribute to late Harvey on his Facebook page.

Pippa Moores said it was a sad loss for all animal lovers. Her post read: “Feeling very sad as Harvey has been attacked by a dog, had a leg amputated. But has sadly died today. For all animal lovers this is so sad. RIP sweet boy, so innocent to the end.”

Julie Williamson said: “Heartbroken to hear that Harvey has died today after being attacked by a dog. He was a sweet little cat who wouldn’t hurt a fly, and even though I tried very hard every year when I went to St Ives, I never managed to find him.

“Unfortunately some people should never own a dog if they can’t control them, if this happened to Harvey, it had probably happened before and will happen again. RIP Harvey.”

Lynne Howard Green, said: “So sorry to hear of Harvey’s tragic death, being a dog owner whose dog wouldn’t hurt a fly we are appalled at the way poor Harvey was taken from the people of St Ives and lots of visitors who made a point of seeing Harvey as part of their holiday. RIP Harvey we will never forget you.”

Handsome cat Harvey is the most famous cat in St Ives, and possibly the whole of Cornwall
(Image: Harvey St Ives)

Alison Brown said: “Such terrible news about Harvey. He certainly didn’t deserve that. Been thinking about him all night. Sleep tight little friend… we will all miss you.”

Leona Shirley said: “So sad to hear that St Ives’ most famous cat, Harvey, has passed away after being attacked by a dog. Such a well loved cat with a lovely gentle nature. RIP Harvey.”

You can donate to the fundraiser here.

Cornwall Live