Shops, bars, police station – cat’s travels are online hit

Tommy the cat sauntering on stage at the Garrison Theatre during a Shetland Community School of Ballet rehearsal. Photo: Susan Msalila

A FREE-roaming cat which has taken a liking to visiting shops and pubs in Lerwick – and just about everywhere else – has become something of an online hit in Shetland.

Tommy the cat often spends his days out and about in the town, with pictures of his exploits regularly posted to the Adventures of Tommy Facebook page to nearly 1,000 fans over the last few months.

Puss in Boots? Tommy checks out the make-up section at the Lerwick pharmacy. Photo: Mandy Robertson

Among his favourite haunts is the Boots pharmacy, Harry’s Department Store and the Studio 4 hairdressers, while he has also visited Lerwick Sheriff Court, the police station and the ferry to nearby island Bressay – although staff took him off before setting sail.

Tommy also sauntered on stage at the Garrison Theatre during a ballet rehearsal – much to the surprise of the performers.

Tommy flouting the rules and feline cosy at Harry's Department Store. Photo: Danika Scott

The one-year-old cat has also been photographed in the likes of bars the Dowry, Wheel and Thule, the Golden Coach, cafe The Havly, hairdressers Envi, Westside Pine, Universal Flowers and Hjaltland Housing Association – as well as visiting diving boat the Valhalla.

The curious cat belongs to Emma Mackay, who started the Facebook page in an effort to reassure locals that the feline did in fact have a home.

She explained that Tommy is a friendly cat by nature who enjoys exploring outside.

“It was M&Co that first put up a post saying there was a lost cat and he was returning every day and was very friendly and hungry,” Emma said.

“This started to happen almost daily at different businesses/shops around Commercial Road/Harbour Street and even though he had a collar with his name and things on it, people still assumed he didn’t have a home.

“So I made the Facebook page just as a way to let people know that he has a wonderful home and gets fed plenty.”

Emma moved up to Lerwick from Inverness earlier this year for work and has been surprised by the positive reaction to Tommy and his escapades.

Tommy having a paws for thought. Photo: Emma Mackay

“The reaction has been amazing,” she said. “For everyone to be so friendly to him and welcoming is amazing because if he wasn’t welcome in these places I’m not sure we could stop him!”

Tommy has a brother Kevin, with both cats turning one in May – but Emma said they are “chalk and cheese”.

“Tommy is obviously the wanderer and then Kevin doesn’t leave the house at all,” she said.

Envi owner Jolene Tindall said staff at the Commercial Street hairdressers are more than happy to have Tommy pop by.

“Tommy is a delight to have in the salon, he is so friendly and makes himself at home,” she said.

“He swings by every couple of days to check everything is ok and have a look around and occasionally has a peerie nap in the staff room. He’s a darling boy and a favourite for all staff and clients.”

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