CARROTS the blind cat who brings cheer to patients at Bradford’s Marie Curie Hospice is ‘writing’ letters to patients as he can no longer visit.

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 Maudsley Street hospice with his owner Katie Lloyd around twice a week. He settles beside patients, who stroke and fuss him and listen to him purr.

Now that Katie, who runs Bradford Cat Watch Rescue, can no longer take him due to the coronavirus outbreak he is keeping in touch with patients through letters written on his behalf.

‘There are lots of sad things going on in the world currently and I am not seeing much of my friends and family - so I thought I would write to my friends instead’, says the letter. ‘I hope that you still have my photos up in my room.' Carrots has his own letterhead and signs off with a paw print.

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.

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

Emily Clark, Fundraising and Engagement Lead at the Marie Curie hospice said: “Katie and Carrots have been volunteering at the hospice for over a year and everyone from the patients, to the nurses looks forward to their visits. It is so kind of Katie to be writing letters to us all during these difficult times which mean she can't visit us in person. We also hope that in the coming days Carrots will be able to FaceTime some of our patients and bring a smile to their faces.”

She adds: “At Marie Curie we are doing all we can to keep are patients well-cared for and out of hospital. This is more important now than ever before as our partners in the NHS are under so much pressure as a result of coronavirus. It means we are working harder than ever and it is difficult for patients and their families, too. These messages from Katie and Carrots are just what we need to lift all our spirits.”

*Bradford Cat Watch Rescue has been forced to close its doors to visitors and has suspended all admissions and adoptions temporarily until it is safe to reopen its doors. It has also had to cancel fundraising events. This has had a massive impact on the day to day running of the rescue.

“We have gone from having 19 volunteers on a weekly rota basis at the rehoming centre, to just myself and two others,” says Katie, who for medical reasons is required to not leave her home for the next 12 weeks. We have two dedicated people who can deal with urgent situations and emergencies, who also kindly pick up basic provisions for myself and the cats.

“We have had to cancel three major large scale fundraising events which were to be help this spring.”

The rescue’s vet bill is spiralling out of control and with no planned events it will be difficult for them to recover. Donations and offers of help are very welcome. “Despite all these worries, we remain positive,” adds Katie.

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