Meet the cat from Oban who’s become an unlikely global star

Parsley, a Maine Coon, has more than 6,000 adoring fans from all over the world. Picture: SWNS
Parsley, a Maine Coon, has more than 6,000 adoring fans from all over the world. Picture: SWNS
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A cat is attracting tourists from all over the world to the seaside town of Oban after building up a huge social media following.

Parsley, a Maine Coon, has more than 6,000 adoring fans from all over the world and loves to socialise in the real world too.

Parsley loves to socialise in the real world too. Picture: SWNS

Parsley loves to socialise in the real world too. Picture: SWNS

With his own Facebook page, the friendly feline has more than 1,000 fans from the USA, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Pakistan and South Africa.

And now some of his followers are coming to the seaside town of Oban, Argyll and Bute, just to catch a glimpse of the wandering moggy.

The adventurous cat, with a serious case of wanderlust, was fitted with a GPS tracker so that his owner Fiona Campbell-Smith can find him.

Parsley, who is three, even has his own merchandise in the form of prints, coasters and key-rings which are available in a local gift shop.

Parsley pictured with his owner Fiona Campbell Smith at various places around Oban. Picture: SWNS

Parsley pictured with his owner Fiona Campbell Smith at various places around Oban. Picture: SWNS

Fiona, 57, said: “He is bringing in dozens of tourists who come to see him from all over the world.

“People are booking holidays next year from the States, Canada and Australia especially to see him.

“People might think ‘Nobody does that just to see a cat,’ but they do.

“It is amazing the number of people who come to see him.

Picture: SWNS

Picture: SWNS

“I put a status on his Facebook page asking people to comment if they had come to see him and say where they came from.

“People were saying their sole reason for coming if not to Oban, even to Scotland, was because they were going to fit in a visit to Parsley.

“I have to say to people I hope they won’t be disappointed coming all this way because he is just a cat.

“It’s staggering -- I know I wouldn’t go all that way just to see a cat.

“But when they come they are delighted to see him -- it makes their whole holiday.”

Fiona sets up appointments for people to come and meet Parsley at his local pub, The Balmoral Hotel.

Tourists are even getting in touch to ask Parsley, an Oban expert, where he would recommend staying.

Fiona added: “I’m printing all of this information out and taking it to Visit Scotland.

“People actually message Parsley’s page, saying ‘You are an expert on hotels, where do you recommend?’”

And now Fiona is calling for the local tourist board to be “more cat-oriented” when dealing with his many legions of fans.

“He is a really important part of what’s bringing people into the town and that should be acknowledged.

“I will be letting the local tourist association know its response to people should be more cat-oriented.”

Parsley even volunteers at local soup kitchen Hope Kitchen, where he hosts his own “cat cafe”.

In recent weeks he has attracted visitors to the kitchen from all over Scotland including Glasgow, Aberdeen and Arbroath.

Fiona said Parsley started to disappear when he was about eight months old.

And although he never leaves his hometown, owner Fiona has given up guessing Parsley’s whereabouts as he pads into a succession of bars and businesses.

Fiona said: “He has been in lots of different shops, beauty salons, hairdresser’s, the local Leisure Centre, Fish and Chip shops, he’s even been to the town’s distillery - and he was pictured on the piano at a nearby music studio.

“I once found him at a party in a neighbour’s flat and he has been to lots of pubs and hotels.

“I’ve had to send a taxi there to pick him up when I wasn’t able to go and collect him myself.

“He even went to two church services one Sunday morning.”

As far as having nine lives, Parsley has been through far more, and the GPS tracker has saved him from all sorts.

Parsley travels an average three to four miles a day but his tracker showed that on one occasion he achieved a personal best of 10K.

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