Pets and Their People: BK and Tilghman Carter

BK enjoys an after-school visit with her best buddy, Tilghman Carter of Orange.

The Carter household on Constitution Highway has three cats, Puck, Sabine and BK. Puck and Sabine are cute, nearly identical gray cats from the same litter. BK stands out from the others because she is a beautiful golden-brown tabby—and she’s blind. BK (for Blind Kitty) showed up in the yard three years ago and caught everyone’s eye because she kept bumping into trees, according to Tilghman Carter. When Tilghman’s father, Sully, reached down to pet her on the head, the little visitor welcomed the attention. Thus began a new chapter in her life as a pampered family cat. A senior at Orange County High School, Tilghman said BK prefers him to his dad, his mother, Laura, and his sister, Alden: “I’m the only one who can pick her up, and she doesn’t even know what I look like. I can hold her like a little baby as long as I rub her on her belly.” Tilghman says BK has “a pretty good mental map” of the house but still occasionally “bonks” into things. But who among us, blind or sighted, hasn’t bonked into an errant chair or door on occasion? BK, of indeterminate age, takes it all in stride and even makes the occasional foray into the Carters’ yard, set far back from the road. With an admiring grin, Tilghman said BK has been known to catch low-flying birds and take a flying leap onto a dogwood tree. 

Hilary Holladay covers education and politics for the Orange County Review. The author of five books, she is currently writing a biography of the poet Adrienne Rich.

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