'Towser' – Crieff, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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A sculpture commemorating the "world's best mouser" in what is likely Scotland's longest-running distillery 


The Glenturret Distillery might date as far back as 1717 when it is believed that illegal distillation operations took place in the site of the modern distillery. The Hosh was the first official distillery registered in this location in 1775. Both dates place it among the oldest distilleries in Scotland, although the switches between illegal and legal operations, as well as name changes, make the claim one that is highly disputed. What is clear is that the current distillery has a long, rich history. Said history also happens to include a particular cat.

Towser was the distillery’s resident mouser since 1963. Given the large amounts of barley stored for use in whisky production, distilleries are often havens for mice, making cats such as Towser a necessity. A long-haired tortoiseshell, Towser was exceptionally adept at her job with a recognized 28,899 mice killed during her 24 years living in Glenturret. The figure was estimated from her daily average kills. Following her death in 1987, the Guinness World Book of Records classified her as the world mousing champion, a title she retains to this day. The sculpture was created by the Scottish artist Evelyn Temple, nea Cheape.

Her successor, Amber, turned out to be a not-so-great mouser, as it is believed she did not kill a single mouse until her death in 2004. This would mark the start of an unlucky streak with Glenturret’s mousers, with all of the subsequent cats either dying young or disappearing. It would appear, however, that Glen II the current mouser since 2017 might finally be a worthy successor to Towser’s legacy. The statue honoring Towser was installed in the distillery when it was part of the Famous Grouse Experience.

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