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by Margaret Taylor
07 July 2023
Councillor Emma Macdonald:

Councillor Emma Macdonald

Councillor Emma Macdonald: "I’m not sure whose cat we buried but I do know it got a good burial"

The independent leader of Shetland Islands Council introduces us to her cats Dora and Swiper

Breed? They are just normal cats. 

Ages? Dora is nine and Swiper is seven.

How long have you had them? All of their lives.

Where did you get them? Dora’s mum was our first cat, Tink.

What can they do? They like to sleep in unsuitable places and catch rabbits. 

What do you love about them? They are good company after a long day and they never argue back with you.

What special talents do they have? They managed to catch a duck once. They got it in through the cat flap alive and then decided it was a bit big so let it go loose around the house.

What are their best tricks? Swiper can get into places without you seeing her and can often be found hiding in small spaces.

What are their most annoying habits? Bringing in birds and letting them loose to fly around the house. Swiper is also very vocal and cries a bit like a baby.

What’s the worst thing either of them have done? Dora tends to disappear for a few weeks at a time in the summer. One year we unfortunately found a cat that had been run over nearby and it looked like her. We buried her in the garden and planted some flowers. The next morning Dora appeared, very much alive and well. I’m not sure whose cat we buried but I do know it got a good burial.

Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner? I think they own us.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pets? My son always gets them a Christmas outfit, which they tolerate for one second for one picture.

What’s your first pet or animal-related memory? We had a dog called Bobby when I was young.

What was the first pet you ever had? When my children were young we had a fish called Fred.

What would be your dream pet? Probably one that doesn’t bring in other animals or make a mess or a noise. I think that means a goldfish.

If you could be any animal what would you be? Probably an eagle or something that can fly. I would get to see more of the world that way.

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