Margaret Macdonald was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and moved to London in 1959. Since 1985, she has lived in North East Scotland, where she studied, raised her children and worked. Margaret is a qualified social worker, mediator and trainer. She discovered Simon’s story five years ago through her mother-in-law Mary and was inspired to write a rhyming tale for children about this extraordinary cat. The Ballad of Able Seacat Simon of HMS Amethyst is her first children’s book.

As a child, Margaret grew up in a house with lots of cats, one dog and not a lot of money. When her pets were unwell, she took them to the local veterinary charity, the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA), where the animals were treated without payment. She remembers the charity with fondness.

When researching Simon’s story, Margaret discovered a link between the hero cat and the PDSA. The Dickin Medal, awarded to Simon in 1949 for bravery, was instituted by Maria Dickin CBE, who also founded the PDSA.

In 2019 Margaret saw the Oscar nominated movie Capernaum(17) about children living in the slums of Beriut. The children’s harsh existence was similar to Simon’s “hard and nasty” life before he was taken on board HMS Amethyst.

Resolving to help improve, in some small way, the desperate lives of displaced children and support the work of the PDSA, Maragret decided to donate sixty percent of all profits from her book sales to the PDSA and a children’s charity. To ensure that more of the proceeds go to the charities, she has independently published her book. Margaret hopes readers will be glad to know that they are helping children and animals in need when they buy her book.

If you would like to know more about the work of the PDSA, click on this link:​


As a self-published author, it is really important for Margaret to receive feedback. She would be extremely grateful if you would take a couple of minutes to review her book on Amazon so that more people can learn about and enjoy Simon’s story.

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