IF YOU live in Edinburgh you'll know who I mean by Maisie.
Maisie MacKenzie is the kilted kitten who lives with her Granny in Morningside.
She's so famous her cheery wee face appears on the city's buses, and she's particularly associated with the 23, which is also my favourite charabanc (see a future paean to this).
Maisie is the creation of Aileen Paterson, a lovely lady with a lively artist's hand. In a series of illustrated books, we follow Maisie from the tiny farm in northern Scotland where she grew up, to the stately tenements of Morningside, where she discovers fish and chip shops, cinemas and vanilla tablet.Thereafter, she embarks on a series of further adventures — not least of all to Glasgow. Brave little thing! She'd heard Glasgow was "a strange city in the west which was even bigger than Edinburgh". Imagine!
Granny doesn't care for such a scary place, where an auntie is marooned. Of Iza she says: "Poor soul, how she manages to keep so cheery when she lives there, I'll never know." But Maisie has her explorer Daddy's DNA and determines to discover the city for herself. Granny: "It's a dreadful place, not fit for an Edinburgh body at all." Even the budgie joins in: "Glasgow! Eek! Eek!"
But Maisie is above the budgie's bigotry. She loves Glasgow! She has scones in a super tea-room, rides the Clockwork Orange, admires the coloured tiles on the tenements, and has her first curry (at the Catmandu restaurant) with cousin Jimmy.
In other adventures, Maisie goes to London, Paris, New York and even Japan. She meets the Loch Ness Monster and a space-kitten from Pluto. She helps catch a thief in the Festival crowds and accompanies a postie on his rounds.
She's a real one-off. You might even say she's beyond categorisation.
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