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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 May, 2005, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Puss Idol hunt for distillery cat
Towser broke the world record for mousing ability
Nine cats are to compete for a job hunting mice at Scotland's oldest working distillery.

Only one lucky feline will be picked to follow in the paw prints of Towser, a record-breaking mouser who worked at the Glenturret Distillery in Crieff.

The "Puss Idol" winner will have a hard act to follow as tortoiseshell moggie Towser caught nearly 30,000 mice in his 24-year lifetime.

He even earned himself a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.

The nine finalists - Dylan, Domino, Frances, Hannah, Holly, Jet Li, Moggie, Lola and another Dylan - will be assessed by distillery staff and members of the charity Cats Protection to see which one is best suited to take on the role.

Mousing ability would be an advantage but is not essential
Carol McLaren
Distillery spokeswoman

The cats have been chosen from cat protection centres across Scotland, including ones in Arbroath, Dundee, Forfar, Perth and Cardyke in Glasgow.

Whoever moves into the distillery will have the spirit of Towser watching over them after bosses erected a bronze statue in his honour at the Perthshire plant.

"Staff at the Scottish centres have put forward the cats they feel would be best suited to the distillery," distillery spokeswoman Carol McLaren said.

"The nine cats which have made it through to the final interview stage are all real characters and each has fallen on bad times through no fault of their own.

"We need a cat which is outgoing enough to welcome our visitors from all over the world, and he or she should enjoy being the centre of attention and certainly not camera-shy.

"Mousing ability would be an advantage but is not essential."

Meet those hoping to take over Towser's role

She added: "We have been without a cat at the distillery for several months now and all our team there are really looking forward to welcoming their new feline resident, but it's going to be very hard to make the final decision."

A spokeswoman for the charity Cats Protection said the selection process had all been based on personality.

She explained: "When deciding which cats to put forward to the distillery, we had to determine which ones would best fit into that environment.

"Obviously it can be a busy and noisy place, so a quiet cat or a loner would not have been ideal.

"The nine contenders are all confident and sociable, cats we believe would benefit from a lot of public contact and could happily cope with a lot of noise - plus they all have good appetites, which may be another advantage."

Charity workers at Cat Protection find homes for 60,000 cats per year.

Whisky bosses search for new cat
28 Mar 05 |  Scotland

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