TRIBUTES have flooded in on social media after Helensburgh's most famous cat passed away.

George, the much-loved companion of Elizabeth and the late Dennis Royal, lost his fight against illness this week.

The Royals' daughter, Jackie Hood, announced the news on the 'George the Helensburgh Cat' Facebook page – set up to chronicle the travels of the adventurous feline after his wanders around the town, and beyond, attracted a growing band of admirers, and to allay occasional concerns from some in Helensburgh who didn't know of his exploits that he might be a stray.

His adventures went viral, attracting hundreds of likes and comments as the page reached thousands of followers across the globe.

Jackie posted news on the page on Wednesday that George had become "very unwell", and that while he was being looked after by a member of the team at a local veterinary surgery, there was "nothing she could do for him".

And in a further post on the page - along with a video of George in his pomp - on Thursday, Jackie wrote: "Rest in peace, curious George the Great of Helensburgh. Swag on forever in our hearts!"

Dennis died aged 92 on June 29 at the town's Argyll Care Home, where he moved after being diagnosed with dementia.

Among the tributes posted on George's page on Thursday was one from Rose De La Riviere, who said: "I will miss your swagger up and down East Princes Street, acting like you owned the place (well, you kind of did)."

Jennifer Gray added: "George, his family, his friends, and the people of Helensburgh have brought smiles to faces around the world.

"Those of us that have followed his page have been blessed to share in his fascinating story. I am grateful he was shared with all of us.

"Soar with the angels, sweet boy, and ride the seas with Dennis."

READ MORE: Obituary for Dennis Royal - sailor, author and owner of Helensburgh's most famous feline

And Tris Carpenter said: "George was so cool, and made so many of us smile, even though we were miles and miles away from Helensburgh. My heart breaks for his family."

Elizabeth and Dennis, who moved from Clynder to Helensburgh in 2009, adopted George from the Cats Protection League in Paisley - and soon found their new family member attracting attention from others.

His adventures included boarding buses for a journey to Rhu and for a primary school trip to a safari park, visiting the Tesco Express store in East Clyde Street to "purr-use" the latest special offers, and popping in to the Argyll Bar to join the regulars for an occasional pint.

In September 2019 he was reunited with his owners after straying 14 miles from home and being found at Firkin Point, near Luss.

In March of this year, the page described how George had been attacked by a dog at the end of his driveway and had to be rescued by two neighbours.

Helensburgh Advertiser: George pictured with Jackie at Helensburgh police office after the adventurous feline went AWOL for 24 hours in July (Photo - 'George the Helensburgh Cat' on FacebookGeorge pictured with Jackie at Helensburgh police office after the adventurous feline went AWOL for 24 hours in July (Photo - 'George the Helensburgh Cat' on Facebook

And in July, just a day after Dennis's funeral, Jackie posted a frantic appeal for help after George went missing in the town – though he was found, safe, weak but unhurt, 24 hours later.

Announcing news of his illness on the page on Wednesday, Jackie said: "I’m so sorry to have to share this news with you, but George is very unwell.

"His kidneys are failing and he has lost a huge amount of weight. He is being looked after by the lovely Karen at Lomond Vets but there is nothing she can do.

"Poor old soul, my heart is broken. I don’t think he ever recovered from the dog attack or from dad moving in the care home.

"Thank you all for following George and his antics. Your comments have really kept me going over the last difficult year. Love to you all."

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