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by Staff reporter
23 April 2021
Politicians and their pets: Ruairi Kelly

Ruairi and Rosie - Image credit: Ruairi Kelly

Politicians and their pets: Ruairi Kelly


No idea. The colour and whether the ears are pointy or floppy is about the extent of my rabbit breed knowledge.



How long have you had her?

Two years.

Where did you get her?

My wife got her in a pet shop in Glasgow Southside.

What do you love about her?

She has been great fun during lockdown just running about the house, sleeping half the day and then as soon as she is up, she goes on the search for food. You wouldn’t think that something so small could just continuously eat all day. Seeing how excited she gets for treats is really cute, but it’s the only time she appears to pay attention to what you say.

What special talents does she have?

I’m not sure I would call it a special talent, but she has made it pretty much impossible to pick her up so visits to the vet involve luring her into her basket with treats. There have been a few delayed appointments due to her stubbornness.

What are her most annoying habits?

Being a rabbit, she likes to bite anything. Furniture, phone chargers, the corner of the wall, you name it, she will bite it. We discovered that having toys or hay in most of the rooms prevented this, but only after quite a bit of nibbling around the house.

What’s the worst thing she has done?

She ate a hole in a pair of expensive trainers, but I guess that was mostly my fault for leaving them lying around. She has made me a much tidier person as anything on the floor is now fair game.

Do you think of yourself as a pet parent or pet owner?

Rosie is part of the family now, but I would say pet owner I think.

What’s the most ridiculous thing you have bought or done for your pet?

Rabbits are quite sociable animals and as she has free rein of the house, she does not like being left alone for much time. To stop her scratching the bedroom door at night we cut a corner off it so she can come and go as she pleases.

What’s your first pet or animal-related memory?

I always remember wanting a dog as a child and my parents got us a springer spaniel when I was probably about eight or nine. I remember going to pick her up but the strongest memory I have of that time is the next morning, when I went into the conservatory to see her and the smell hit me. Needless to say that training her to go to the toilet outside was a priority after that!

What was the first pet you ever had?

I’m sure we probably had goldfish as very young children but the first one I really remember was a springer spaniel called Lucky.

What would be your dream pet?

I would quite like to have some chickens. I think that would be pretty cool. I don’t think I would want anything that would be unfairly confined as a pet though. We don’t keep Rosie in a cage and I don’t like the idea of animals being locked up most of the day.

If you could be any animal what would you be?

The freedom associated with being a bird is appealing and birds of prey are pretty majestic. It’s a shame to see the continued persecution of them in certain areas and I’m glad that the Scottish Government are taking a harder line on those that poison and kill animals as amazing as Scotland’s national bird, the golden eagle. 

Read the most recent article written by Staff reporter - Holyrood picks up four gongs and a highly commended at annual magazine awards

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