Three years ago, Cathy was truly an underdog. On February 9, 2011, American Pit Bull Terrier Cathy was lead through the doors of Manhattan’s Animal Care and Control (ACC) facility. Her owners had been evicted from their New York City apartment that very same day, leaving Cathy behind at 20 Catherine Street.
Animal Control workers guessed Cathy was about 12-years-old at the time, and they were the ones who named her Cathy, for the street she was found on.
Poor Cathy was in awful shape — thin, suffering from skin, eye, and ear infections, her head and ears covered in what looked like cigarette burns. Her sagging belly led workers to believe Cathy had been used for breeding many times, scars on her abdomen suggesting she’d had at least one Caesarean section. It was clear Cathy had suffered a life of cruelty and neglect. After holding her for the requisite number of days, ACC had no choice but to put her on the kill list. It appeared Cathy’s days were numbered.
But fate — and one very special person — was about to give Cathy a second chance at a happy life.
When Durham, New Hampshire writer, director, and dog lover Alex De Campi got a glimpse of Cathy’s adorable but lopsided face, she knew in an instant she wanted to offer the old girl a good home. Though she already had three dogs of her own and a 6-week-old baby, De Campi couldn’t turn her back on Cathy. She contacted NYC animal rescue group Rebound Hounds ResQ, an organization that pulls dogs from ACC, and soon Cathy was on her way north to her new family.
Today, though she is 15-years-old, Cathy spends her days sunbathing, swimming, hiking, and playing fetch. De Campi says it’s unfair that Pit Bulls like Cathy get such a bad rap.
“She’s very friendly and sweet,” De Campi tells the New York Daily News of Cathy. “She’s gotton on really good with the dogs, she’s grown up with my daughter, she’s fine with any stranger.”
“It doesn’t make sense to say an entire dog breed is innately evil,” she adds.
Reflecting on the past three wonderful years she has shared with Cathy, De Campi was inspired to pen a short message to her former owners, the people who abandoned Cathy. But her message was not one of anger or hate; it was not a manifesto. Instead, De Campi took to Craigslist with a message of understanding and compassion.
“3 yrs ago you were evicted from 20 Catherine St 13B. I have your dog,” De Campi titled her post.
In her message, De Campi offers an update on Cathy’s new life, sharing details about Cathy’s improved health, her favorite activities, and her constantly wagging tail.
“Although it’s unlikely you’ll ever see this note, I just wanted you to know that I have your dog and she is doing great,” De Campi writes.
“She is sleeping next to me as I type this, grunting with joy,” De Campi adds. “In fact, she sleeps on my bed every night. Your dog is an awesome dog. We love her so much. The past three years we’ve had with her have brought us (and her) so much happiness.”
In the message, De Campi appeals to Cathy’s past owners, hoping they are well, that one day they will get in touch with more information about what Cathy’s life was like before she moved to New Hampshire. She also asks that they keep Cathy in their thoughts as she goes into surgery soon to have mammary tumors removed.
“Luckily my vet caught it early, so I’m hoping Cathy can spend many more happy years with us,” says De Campi. “She really is the best dog.”
“P.S.,” De Campi concludes, “you can’t have her back.”