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  • This is Katie, I'm not sure how old she actually is, I'm guessing fifteen. She is a dear and loyal friend. She is also completely blind.

    Katie suffers from clouding of the cornea (cataracts), and clouding of the viscera (The fluid inside the eye), leaving her with little more than the ability to perceive extreme light and dark shadows, and when in stark contrast only. The only way she navigates about the house and yard is by memory. Should anything be rearranged, or something new acquired, collisions inevitably occur.

    As a result of this affliction, her gate is that of an ancient dog, not just an old one, though she still proves at times that she is capable of youthful enthusiasm. this only occurs when something is being offered her (a treat), when she expects attention (another treat), or when loud noises offend her (fireworks).

    With the advent of the latter, she will run, with wild abandon through the house, out the back door, and to the bordering fence nearest the direction the sound came from. She will not run into anything on the way, and barks insanely all through the procedure, her normal cautious gate thrown to the wind.

    Katie has also, a surprising degree of mental prowess, that she uses to her best advantage. Everyone in the household is sure she 'plays up' her appearance of being ancient, whenever it becomes advantageous to her. For instance, on her normal travels through the house, she clacks her long claws rhythmically, and as loudly as she can. We're not sure if this is just to be bothersome, or if she just likes the sound of her own footsteps, like a teenager wearing cleats.

    The tapping is done at a ginger gate, with her head held high, and swaying to and fro, in keeping with the rhythm of her steps, with an almost evil grin on her face. Should she be called in from something she is intent on pursuing, or if addressed in a disciplinary tone, she walks at her feeblest, taking each step in the shakiest manner, as if her legs are likely to break at the slightest exertion.

    Her ruse, and her surprising mental abilities became obvious a couple after the Fourth of July this year. Several neighbors saved some of their fireworks, to ignite, and irritate their neighbors with late at night. Several loud reports from these and Katie was heading for the door yelping her heart out. A curt NO! from me, and she cowered, lowered her head nearly to the floor, and retreated at a snail's pace, clacking as loudly as she could with her seriously altered gate,... for emphasis, I'm sure.

    Observing quietly from the relative dark just outside the back door, I watched as this scenario played out:

    Upon crossing several feet of living room floor as the frail, ailing wretch, Katie looked around to see if she was being observed, and feeling sure she wasn't, she turned around and quietly (without a hint of claw-tapping, as if in stealth mode) she creeps along the wall to avoid being seen, and tries to sneak out the door to bark at the noises. Another sharp NO, and she retreats in her usual decrepit manner, repeatedly looking back at me, as if saying ' fun at all.'

    Katie is sweet, she is blind, and she is a very loyal and loving friend,. One that is getting very old. It pains me to think of what it will be like when she is no longer here with us, but ohh, what a devious mind she has!
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