How Maisie the Morningside kitten became an Edinburgh export

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AILEEN Paterson’s furry protagonist is typically known as Maisie of Morningside, but her adventures have taken her around the world.

Maisie is best known for her Edinburgh escapades, but she also visited Paris, Hollywood, New York, Brazil, Japan and even the Himalayas.

Several of her stories were also adapted into Stanley Baxter’s animated series Meeow! for STV, which also took Maisie to Australia, Egypt and Moscow.

According to Aileen’s son Liam, fans from different countries frequently wrote to her over the years. He said: “She had fans in other countries. Particularly in Japan and America, there were fans who would get in contact. She also really admired some Japanese artists.”

Not all of Aileen’s books were born out of romanticism. In 2002, she said Edinburgh City Council would “dig up Princes Street Gardens if they could” and that she was taking Maisie abroad because “so many things have broken down in Edinburgh”.

In total, the books have sold well over a million copies around the globe, showing that Maisie is not only one of Scotland’s most popular fictional characters but one of our greatest exports.

Drawing from Aileen Paterson's book "Maisie Goes to a wedding"

Drawing from Aileen Paterson's book "Maisie Goes to a wedding"