"Never forget what you are," Tyrion Lannister said. "The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you." Few live by these words as much as Crazy Eyes Olive—the crossed eye tabby has her condition in her name!
Eye movement is controlled by small muscles that allow side to side and up and down motion. If one of these muscles is stretched out or too strong, or if the nerves that control the muscles are damaged, the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. This is called strabismus.
However, despite her unique looks, Crazy Eyes Olive has learned to live with her condition and she sees the world just fine.
More info: Instagram
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Prior to meeting her, Olive's current owner, Michelle, had been looking to adopt a cat and her friend got her in touch with Almost Home Animal Rescue on Long Island. "They had been out in the community performing some of their services when they spotted Olive in the street, malnourished and covered in tree sap," Michelle told Bored Panda. "Once they were able to catch her, one of their volunteers, Barbara, took Olive to her home to foster her and nurse her back to health. I went to visit her and immediately knew I wanted her. I visited her multiple times a week until she was healthy enough to come home with me. I am so grateful for Barbara and Almost Home, they saved her life!"
Olive is a bit more subdued than a typical cat. Michelle said she is very shy but once you get to know the tabby and she opens up to you, she is an absolute sweetheart. "She loves to burrow in blankets for long naps and her favorite toy is a black twist tie."
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Because Olive was found and rescued from the street, nobody is certain if she was born with strabismus or if she developed it somehow at a young age. However, because she had the condition from a young age, Michelle is very happy to see that Olive has adapted to it with no problem. "She can play and run around just as a normal cat would, even though she looks a little different!"
"Olive does have some neurological problems, unfortunately. She sometimes has seizure-like episodes, but thanks to CBD and some other medications, we have been able to manage it over the course of her life. It isn't always easy, but she is a very tough girl," Michelle said.
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The woman thought it's important to highlight how many pets, disabled or not, are in need of good, loving homes. "Adoption is a wonderful thing as well as supporting shelters like Almost Home that dedicate their lives to supporting animals in need. Also, just because Olive and other animals are 'disabled' doesn't mean they deserve any less love," she said.
The Internet definitely agrees—Olive has 160,000 Instagram followers who constantly shower her with attention and praise in the comments. "I think the best part of her community on Instagram is how many people have come to love her despite her disability. She really is just like every other cat. And there are so many other animals like her whose lives can be changed by finding the right family. So, support your local shelters and adopt don't shop!" Michelle added.