Saturday 4 July 2015

Dear stranger in the park....

Dear stranger in the park,

You don't know me.

You don't know me:  so you don't know I'm about to turn 14 years old.

 You don't know me: so you don't know that although yes I am limping I still run and bounce and spin when the mood takes me.

You don't know me: so you don't know that when I'm panting and making that odd noise that bothers you so much it's because I have a serious health condition called Larangyl Paralysis which affects the way I breathe and could end my life at any moment. I'm not in pain, it doesn't bother me, I'm happy just to be alive.

You don't know me: so you don't know that I'm not "skinny" or "starved". I'm old now and I have lost muscle from my hips. I use to be extremely muscled and was once referred to as "Hench!"   I actually eat more than the recommended amount of calories for my size. I have 2 full meals a day (Once in the morning and once in the afternoon), I also have treats and snacks during the day and you can bet I get left overs too. I get treated to entire cooked breakfasts to myself and always get a special doggy cake on my birthday and at Christmas and sometimes "just because".

You don't know me: so you don't know that almost 3 years ago I was so unwell I wasn't expected to survive the weekend and was given just 6 months to live (maybe) if I was never allowed to run or play or get excited and was only given short on lead walks for the rest of my time. You also don't know that I hate my lead and I hate being restricted in any way, it stresses me and makes me sad so we agreed I would be allowed to play and be happy for however long I had left and so I get to go off lead, I get to bounce and spin on the beach and do all the things that make me happy. I think I'm doing pretty good.

You don't know me: so you don't know that when you see me walking in the rain in town or out during the winter without a coat on it isn't because I'm neglected or unloved. I actually own lots of coats for various weathers. A cool coat for the summer, a rain coat for wet days, 3 fleeces for when it's cold and a lightweight walking out coat for when it's just a little chilly. I'm not wearing my coat because I hate to walk in coats and I struggle to regulate my temperature correctly because of my health condition. I'm also very stubborn so if I don't want to put my coat on, I wont do it. I will put my coat on if I get cold. I know how to ask for it on just like I know how to ask for it to be taken off.

You don't know me: so you don't know that although I'm older and slower than my friends I love to be around them, I love to watch them bouncing and playing and running. You don't know that I love to go on walks and to meet ups just to be part of the fun even if that means just watching from the sidelines and finishing the walk behind everyone else.

You don't know me: so you don't know how far I can walk or when the walk is too long or too steep or too uneven for me. I know how far I can walk, I know when I've had enough. Some days just walking up the road is too much, some days I can walk for miles and do it with enthusiasm even if it is slowly. I'll make it very clear when I don't want to go any further.

You don't know me: so you don't know how I'm feeling, you don't know how tired I am or how much pain I'm in. You don't know when it's time for me to make my journey to rainbow bridge. You don't get to comment on my quality of life, You've just met me. If you knew me you'd know I'm happy, I'm loved, I'm not ready yet. I have so much more I need to do yet!


I'm Cat.

I'm a greyhound

I am almost 14 years old.

I love liver treats and ice cream

I like to dig holes in the beach and sometimes in the park too. I think it's clever.

I come from Ireland.

I was an athlete until I was 3 years old.

I had 8 puppies (in one litter) I loved being a mummy.

I was adopted when I was 5 years old.

I am retired NOT rescued.

I like to ride in the car, It makes me very excited.

I didn't know how to make friends until I was 10, now I have lots of friends. Even small breeds of dogs. I didn't even know they were dogs for so long.

I once picked a kitten up by it's head. It was fine I let it go.

I am very stubborn, I know my own mind and will sulk if I don't get my own way.

I love children. I always want to say hello.

I was diagnosed with a "pathological anxiety disorder" after someone popped a balloon near me, I got scared and decided I was never leaving the house again. I would shake and pant and freeze when I had to go out. I only felt safe in the car or the house. Even if there was no balloons near me. I worked very hard to get better.

I have a scar on my back left leg because I tried to be cheeky and ignore a command to go for a wee, I tried to jump up a small wall to get back inside. I misjudged the wall and hit my leg on it. I ripped a hole in my skin and had to have it stapled and my whole leg in bandage. My wound got infected and I ended up on anti-biotic for ages.

I only have 4 teeth so my tongue hangs out my mouth.

I like to visit lots of places but especially places with food.

I have been on boats and trains, I love adventures.

I once kissed a horse.

I like black dogs the best although I like to try and tease them too. I learnt this when I was a foster sister to a black lurcher who liked to shout a lot. I liked to annoy her on walks and make her shout and she always obliged. After that I decided to make it my special game. It doesn't always work out well for me.

DONT assume you know me or know what's best for me. If you're interested in learning about me just ask. 


  1. I met you once Cat, and I know that you are beautiful xx

    1. Thanks, I dont know who you are because you commented anonymously but I'm sure you're beautiful too x

  2. carol, cobalt and sapphi5 July 2015 at 00:34

    Awww Cat my mum used to get comments about her old girl lucy lurcher. She lived to a ripe ole age of 16 xxx

  3. Oh yes dear Cat, Tempo knows all your habits, idiosyncrasies, difficulties & joys. We hound~teens are a very select, fortunate few. We also know that when you decide to forever play with Tempo across Rainbow Bridge, you will make your wish clearly known.

  4. Keep bouncing Cat - you and your human are very special creatures.

  5. Cat is just gorgeous, bless her heart!

    Until recently, I had an elderly black greyhound who had degenerative myelopathy, canine cognitive disorder, and finally, liver cancer. Jeffie was the happiest soul (unless he was stressed and got panicky) and loved to go for his walks right up to his last few days, but he was so ratty-looking and so very skinny, poor boy, that I lived in fear of someone reporting me to the RSPCA for neglect. He was so loved and cossetted. He had fresh meat cooked for him every day to tempt his failing appetite (and to wrap his various drugs). He was groomed and given oat-milk foam baths to deal with the itchiness his liver problems were causing him. He had his bottom gently washed and smeared with lanolin when he soiled himself. He had Vet Bed over his cushy beds to lie on. You know the routine - and you'll find his story on my blog if you visit.

    But I wouldn't have blamed anyone for stopping and talking to me about his condition, or even reporting me, if they had done so with genuine concern.

    It IS upsetting when total strangers make snap judgments, especially when you're struggling with an end-of-life situation, but I take the attitude that it's far better to have someone blame you in error for neglect than to have them fail to report real cruelty when they see it. Don't you agree?

  6. sound lovely Cat. We've had a couple of elderly gents with the same condition, stay with us until their wonderful forever families came along. Yes, people are quick to judge without knowing the facts, sadly these days people seem to think they are entitled to voice their opinion we call it being rude. Glad to hear you are still enjoying life at your pace and not letting the "rudies" spoil things. You are obviously loved very much, your human has done a wonderful write up. Keep on keeping on Cat. X
    ps one of our boys is Irish :-)

  7. That was really lovely reading. Good on you Cat. :)

    You have a very similar sense of Me to my wee (yes, she is a dog) rescue(r) Pippalotta Actualia McQueen (who also doesn't know a lot about playing but is still only eight so I am optimistic that she will learn as you did) and I like that.

    Hope that you keep bouncing and spinning and kissing. <3

  8. You forgot to mention all the rosettes you have won for being the most bootimus girl. Don't worry yourself about what ignorant hoomans say, just be yourself coz we know what a special girl you are!

    Sir Fidget Smell-Bottom

  9. Amy, Dennis, Alfie and Flossie5 July 2015 at 13:42

    Weeee Know you Miss Catty and LUFFS yoo!! XXXX

  10. what a lovely post and a nice way of reminding people that things aren't always what they seem. Cat, you are beautiful. x

  11. Some folks should keep their opinions to themselves ! As an owner of greyhounds it's amazing how many are SO ignorant. I also have an old boy who's 13 and he's always been gangly legged but even more so now he's older. My girl is about to get some teeth out and will no doubt have her tongue hanging out to dry too. So long as your dog has quality of life no one should comment on when it's the right time to go to rainbow bridge... end of ! Love Cat's message although I've never met her... She's GORGEOUS !

  12. Awesome article beautiful Cat ��

  13. Cat sounds lovely 😊 I've been fortunate enough to have a greyhound in my life sadly only for a short time but I'll never forget her funny ways.

  14. You look like a beautiful, mature lady to me. I'm sure you are loved and looked after extremely well you look so happy.

  15. Dear Cat,
    I have shared your post. I hope people read it. I thought it was beautifully written, it made me a little teary!
    One of my greys is an older lady, although not quite your age she shares some of your foibles :)
    I wish you well ,
    Kay x

  16. Sadly people do like to pass quick judgements.But don't let it get you down, your peeps know you well and take good care of you which is all that matters xx