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Seeing Eye Cat Helps His Owner Adjust to Being BlindBy Caroline Golon
When Robert Sollars of Mesa, Arizona went blind in 2003, Sollars’ cat, Admiral K’reme, became his seeing-eye cat, helping his owner adjust to his new life.
Sollars, a security consultant, says his loss of sight is due to diabetic retinopolophy and came upon him quickly. Once his doctor had diagnosed his condition, Sollars and his wife began finding ways to adjust to their new reality.
The Admiral quickly joined in to help. He established himself as Sollars’ “Guardian Kitty,” guiding him around the house and helping him navigate. The Admiral would watch and anticipate where Sollars was headed “just like a good wide receiver would,” Sollars chuckles. Then, the cat would run to the anticipated spot and meow until Sollars found his way.
“When I’d get up in the middle of the night, he’d follow me through the house, ‘yelling’ at me until I got back in bed,” Sollars remembers with a laugh. Although losing his sight was traumatic, Sollars says, “It was comforting to have the Admiral with me.”
Now 10 years later, Sollars is completely adjusted to life without his eyesight, but Admiral K’reme still takes his job as protector and guardian very seriously. He sleeps by the front door at night and worries about Sollars when he leaves the house. “If I take out the garbage or go get the mail, he’ll meow meow meow until I’m back inside,” Sollars says.
Sollars runs his security consulting business from home and is even working on a book right now, using a special word processing program. The 15-year-old Admiral is still right there by his side “helping” him, by sitting on Sollars’ keyboard or squeezing beside him on the chair.
When the Admiral isn’t protecting Sollars or helping him work, he’s keeping Sollars abreast of how the pair’s favorite football team, the Cincinnati Bengals, is doing. “Every Sunday he gets in the chair with me to watch them play football. If they start doing poorly, he’ll leave the room. Then later, he’ll come back to the chair to finish watching the game with me!”
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