A FAMOUS Lake District cat will receive the ultimate tribute in the form of a bronze statue.

Ambleside's Riley was known and loved by tourists and locals alike. She was rescued as a kitten 13 years ago from a snowstorm but despite her presence in shops and the Millans Park area never had an owner and chose to permanently live outside. 

She sustained fatal injuries after being hit by a car in January.

Ian Rollins set up a GoFundMe to raise the funds for a life-size bronze statue.

"She is very well missed," said Mr Rollins. "We had dozens of emails from as far away as Australia.

Riley was well known in AmblesideRiley was well known in Ambleside (Image: Ellie Fisher)

"She was well known by hundreds in the community." He said that 'over a thousand' knew her from visiting Ambleside and would come and see her. 

Lakes artist David Cemmick created the statue, which Mr Rollins said cost £8000. "It's truly astounding in terms of her exact likeness and he caught her personality," Mr Rollins said. 

The statue commissioned by the community in Riley's honourThe statue commissioned by the community in Riley's honour (Image: Ian Rollins)

The statue will be unveiled on the garden wall of No1 Millans Park, which is where she used to sit, and people would visit her. 

There will also be a blue plaque commemoration. The unveiling will be at midday on June 21. 

Riley was known by other names in the community, such as the Millans Park Cat and The Dodd's Cat. 

The life sized bronze statue cost £8000The life sized bronze statue cost £8000 (Image: Ian Rollins)

Laszlo Papp, co-owner of Dodd's Italian Restaurant on Rydal Road, said she was 'tiny, barely peeking her head out of the deep snow' when the restaurant staff spotted her as a kitten. 

"She wouldn't go into anyone's house, everybody heard about her one way or another," Laszlo said. "She was so popular. It's a big loss to the local community."

Ian praised the workmanship that went into the statueIan praised the workmanship that went into the statue (Image: Ian Rollins)

Mr Rollins compared Riley to Max the Miracle Dog from Keswick.

Both Lake District animals received online admiration from thousands of people across the world. 

Max died in 2022 and also had a bronze statue cast in his name.