AFTER a harsh start in life Carrots the cat has become a feline celebrity at Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford.

The ginger and white moggy, who lost both eyes as a tiny kitten, has taken on an important role as a therapy cat, bringing happiness and comfort to patients and their families.

He visits the Leeds Road hospice with his owner Katie Lloyd. Katie adopted Carrots after he was found as a kitten in a hedgerow with one eye missing, probably a result of abuse. His other eye was in a poor condition and sadly had to be removed soon after he was adopted.

But his disability has not stopped Carrots from becoming a perfect therapy pet.

Animal therapy is known for its ability to sooth and comfort, and to bring relief from conditions such as anxiety and depression.

The three-year-old puss visits the hospice around twice a week. He settles beside patients, who stroke and fuss him and listen to him purr.

“He sits on the beds and has his tummy tickled,” said Katie. “He snuggles up to patients, visitors and staff.”

She added: “I’m so proud of Carrots. Not only has he triumphed over adversity - he also brings so much comfort and joy to everyone who meets him. Carrots sees with his heart and is living proof that ‘love is blind’.”

Carrots is the only therapy cat within the Marie Curie Hospice Movement throughout the UK and is the UK's only blind therapy cat. 

The popular moggy's role has also involved welcoming guests at the the official opening of the refurbished Hospice Outpatient Unit, where he met guests and was even served his own buffet lunch.

Carrots is also helping to raise awareness of the Marie Curie Great Daffodil Appeal, wearing a daffodil charm on his collar.

Every March, millions of people across the country support this fundraising event by giving a small donation to wear a daffodil pin. Money raised through the appeal helps Marie Curie to provide free care and support to people living with a terminal illnesses.

At home Carrots does not let his lack of sight affect him. He plays like any other cat, and especially loves football. “He’s got a scrunchy ball, and he’s really receptive to it,” said Katie. “If you throw the ball he will chase it, pop it in his mouth and run around with it. He won’t let anyone else have it.”

Despite having health problems of her own, Katie runs Bradford Cat Watch & Rescue, a shelter for cats with otherwise slim chances of survival.

As well as taking Carrots in for therapy, she also started the appropriately-named Meowie Curie initiative, guaranteeing to adopt any Bradford Hospice patients’ pets that can’t be rehomed with loved ones.

Where possible she speaks with the patients, family and staff, to offer assurance and make plans to care for their cat when the time arises. “People worry so much about what will happen to their pets when they are ill. I wanted to take away those worries,” said Katie.

*To donate to Bradford Cat Watch & Rescue contact them Katie on 07942 822509; or email her on visit

* Support line: 0800 090 2309