Politicians and their pets: Councillor Kate Blake
Labour Councillor Kate Blake introduces Holyrood to Scamp and Albie.
Breed: Scamp is your standard moggie and Albie is a British Short Hair
Ages: Scamp is 13 and Albie is 2
How long have you had them?
We have had Scamp for six years. She was seven when we got her. We have had Albie since he was a kitten.
Where did you get them?
We got Scamp from Cats Protection. Her owners had moved away, and our previous cat Alex had died the summer before, so we were ready to love a new cat. I remember the night she moved in, she came upstairs into my son’s bedroom, as if she wanted to listen to his bedtime story. From then on, she became part of the family! Albie is a lockdown pet. My boys were keen, I was keen, my husband was not! He is named after Dumbledore and if he is naughty, he gets called Albus. As lovely as Albie is, I wouldn’t really recommend having cats with such an age difference. They barely tolerate each other!
What can they do?
Neither of them has any special talents.
What do you love about them?
I love the fact Scamp is a lap cat. She sits on you on the sofa or in bed and loves to be stroked. I also like the fact you can trust her to sleep on the bed at night and she won’t wake you up until morning. Albie loves to give kisses. He rubs his face against yours to show affection. He also taps you on your arm to get your attention, which is very cute.
What are their most annoying habits?
Albie is an absolute gannet. You cannot leave any food or indeed the food waste bin out. It could be bread, vegetables, oil – he will eat it. He has been known to break open cereal boxes. Scamp refuses to use the cat flap. She expects doors to be opened as and when she requires, and walks round the house to find where you are so she can alert you to the need to open the door for her. She is a very grand lady.
What’s the worst thing they’ve done?
Albie once tried to bring in a pigeon. Luckily, we managed to rescue it. At the moment, they are both being kept in until the blackbirds in the back garden have fledged.
Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner? Definitely a pet parent!
What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet?
When we got Albie, we bought this incredibly cosy bed. I should have known that was a waste of money – they don’t choose to sleep in things that are designated cat beds.
What’s your first pet or animal-related memory?
My mum was a primary school teacher. She brought home two chicks, which were part of a topic they were doing at school. I remember them standing at the lounge door and there was a little trail of poo all along the hall carpet.
What was the first pet you ever had?
My first pet was a gerbil called Boo Boo.
What would be your dream pet?
In some ways, my previous cat Alex was my dream pet. He was a ginger tom (named after Alex McLeish) and I had him from a kitten. For the first seven years it was just the two of us! We had a strong bond and I continued to be his favourite, after I had a family. Albie loves my boys better than me, which is as it should be.
If you could be any animal, what would you be?
An otter. They always look like they are having fun and are really sociable.