UPDATE: Keller the blind cat, his “seeing-eye” mom, and his kitten friend are all headed forever home together.
The Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center in Iowa first introduced us to this sweet trio of cats who formed a special bond. Blind Keller and his mom Anne Sullivan were found within days of each other. It became quickly apparent the two knew each other. Rescue staff watched as the lost and confused Keller settled in with Anne at his side. And seeing all the love between this mom and son, they introduced tabby kitten Trixie to the two tuxedo cats with the hopes he’d fit right in. He did indeed, giving Keller more support in navigating life as a blind cat. Read their whole tale below.
When it came time to start accepting adoption applications for the little family, the rescue requested the trio be kept together. It turned out hopeful adopters were just fine with that request, with applications coming in from 20 different states and even one from Australia. Ohio was one of the 20 states, and it’s from there the Nestor family hails. When told the kitties would be coming home to them, mom Amy was more than happy to make the 800-mile trip to collect her new furry family members.
A Loving Home That Understands
Amy told KCAU she read the cats’ story in People Magazine, sharing, “I just thought it was an incredible story, and after I read it, you know, I saw where you could adopt them, and I wondered if they’d been adopted. So, I said, you know what? I am just gonna; I’m going to apply,”
She thought there was no chance her family would get the cats, but when a call came a week later, telling her the good news, Amy said, “I couldn’t believe it. I thought, really? Because I couldn’t stop thinking about them.”
When Amy and her husband Paul told their three sons the family was growing by a furry trio, they were excited. Especially 12-year-old Joshua, who is legally blind.
“He is absolutely thrilled,” Amy said. “He loves animals. In fact, I think he’s going to do something with animals in his life. He is just bouncing-off-the-walls excited.”
Dad Paul explained how special it was to tell his son the good news, “because you always worry about your child fitting in, wherever he’s at, and to know that he’s not alone, and he can help this animal who’s completely blind.”
Amy said these three cats are in for the “best life.”
Congratulations to the happy family!
Sometimes, you can just tell when a pair of cats are best buds or even soul mates. This bond between two cats is beautiful to behold. And the Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center in Iowa recently took two cats into their care that proved to be a bonded pair. The bond comes not just because they love each other—because Keller and Anne Sullivan really do—but Keller needs a little help in life as he was born without eyes.
Anne Sullivan is not only his buddy and “seeing eye” cat, she’s also believed to be his mom. So of course she wants to take care of her baby, no matter the fact he’s already a grown tomcat at one whole year old.
But Keller doesn’t mind his mom wanting to take care of him. In fact, he loves her for it. It turns out though, this bonded pair has so much love to give, they’ve adopted a kitten together.
When Keller was taken into care, it was clear he couldn’t see. He had eye sockets with fur, giving him the look of a teddy bear missing its button eyes. But the handsome tuxedo cat had no eyeballs. And he was all alone and confused in this new place.
As Cindy Rarrat, the Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center Director, told WTVO, “It was a unique situation in the respect that we impounded the blind cat first, and the blind cat had no eyeballs and was not neutered.”
“And so we got him in and he was very lost, very confused,” Cindy explained.
But within a couple of days, the rescue took in a tuxedo female, which staff believed to be the blind cat’s mom.
Chris Wall, Vice President of the animal rescue, said, “Now these cats are probably the most bonded cats that I’ve ever seen.”
Seeing the cats together, as well as their affectionate natures, the shelter assumed they were someone’s lost family. But no one ever came forward for Keller and Anne. And a vet visit revealed Anne had problems too.
“We found out that there was something wrong with her mouth, so after she was spayed, we took her back in and she had to have all of her teeth removed,” said Cindy. “And she had a large tumor in her sinus cavity. That has since been removed. They wanted to test it, but we felt that we just really didn’t want to know.”
Duo Becomes a Trio
As Anne protected and guided Keller so well, the center decided a kitten named Trixie might benefit from Anne’s mom skills too. Plus, a kitten could help Anne with “seeing-eye” duties. With so much love between Anne and Keller, staff hoped Trixie would be encompassed in the love fest too. Their hunch proved correct!
“It was one of our kittens that was very unique.”
“He’s got a ton of personality and he just was … just a different and a unique personality. So we put him in with them and they love each other. I’ve been here 37 years and I’ve never come across a situation like this.”
They’ve become the sweetest little family, and now, Keller won’t ever have to worry over being lonely or lost again. With his mom and new little tabby cat sister by his side, he’s always got a friend to be his eyes.
“We use bells, a ball with a bell in it so that he can hear exactly where this ball is. The kitten, it’s just great to see them walk together because they walk together in unison, especially him and his mother and the kitten is learning that as well. So it’s just learned behavior, they know that he has an eye issue.”
A Home Together
And because this family of three has grown so tight, Sioux City Animal Adoption and Rescue Center wants the trio to be adopted as a whole, Cindy sharing, “We’ve been looking for that special home, that special someone that would give these guys a chance.”
Are you the one meant to give Keller, Anne Sullivan, and little Trixie the chance they so desperately need? If Sioux City, Iowa isn’t where you hang your hat, then check with your local rescues and shelters. Maybe your next cat (or trio of cats!) is already there waiting.