Carrots the Blind Therapy Cat Awarded Medal for Helping Hospice Patients
Providing plenty of reassuring head bunts and fluffy tail flicking is quite honorable service, especially during trying times. Carrots, a blind therapy cat in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England, received the Blue Cross Medal for his work with residents in the Marie Curie Hospice.
Established in 1897, Blue Cross is an animal care, rescue, and adoption service in the United Kingdom. What started as the ‘Dumb Friends League’ helping working horses in London is now an extensive network of hospitals, rehoming centers, and animal welfare education resources. Carrots is the 80th recipient of the Blue Cross Medal, which recognizes one pet hero each year “who has done something amazing to change or even save a life in a big or small way,” the organization states on its website.
Carrots, now four years old, is one of the few cats to receive the award. Born with an eye defect, he’s the only blind therapy cat in the United Kingdom, and the only therapy cat within the Marie Curie Hospice facilities in the country. Overflowing with heart-led compassion and fuzzy cuddles, Carrots is often requested by patients who are ill or in palliative care at the center, especially when they’re anxious or depressed.
He’s also the BFF—best feline friend!—of Katie Lloyd, owner of Bradford Cat Watch Rescue & Kittens, who rescued him when he was just 3 weeks old and now organizes his therapeutic visits. “When Carrots first arrived I knew immediately that he was a special boy,” she told the Daily Mail. Still, even she was a bit surprised he received the Blue Cross Medal, leading a pack of nearly 150 other pet hero submissions. “But he has been there for everyone at the Marie Curie Hospice in their hour of need and is special to so many people. He loves visiting patients and settles beside them so that they can stroke him and listen to him purr.”
During much of the pandemic, Carrot’s trips to the hospice center were curtailed, so Lloyd helped him write letters to the residents, “which he signs with a paw print, of course!” she said in her Daily Mail interview.
Carrots is head of the welcoming committee at Lloyd’s rescue organization and the top model of its 2021 calendar. Its motto? “Carrots sees with his heart—love is blind!”
This snuggly ginger care ambassador handles fame in stride, even as the star of a Marie Curie promotional video!