HE became an internet sensation despite doing little more than lazing around in the sun in one of Scotland's most picturesque seaside towns.

But now a ginger tabby has sparked an unseemly cat-fight between an artist and a publisher over just exactly who has the rights to the Tobermory Cat.

The feline shot to fame with his own Facebook page after artist Angus Stewart began documenting his comings and goings.

Loading article content

Mr Stewart's page received interest from around the world, and he has been selling postcards of his pictures of the Ginger tom in various states of repose. However, he is now claiming his idea has been "stolen" by Edinburgh publisher Birlinn, which has produced a book, Tobermory Cat, illustrated by children's artist Debi Gliori.

It claims the timing is coincidental and their book is an original work.

But Mr Stewart said: "I believe this is a creative property, just as Skippy is. They could easily have picked a different cat in a different location but they didn't."

The artist claimed Bir-linn's managing director, Hugh Andrew, even visited his house and offered him a picture on the back of the book, but no payment. He added: "They suggested Tobermory Cat is nobody's property and nobody has rights to it."

However, Mr Andrew said the idea for the book came about long before they knew about the Tobermory Cat website. He said: "Our story is about a ginger cat in Tobermory. It is entirely original. Most people would find that a bit sad. I'm not stopping him doing his website."