FORT WORTH, Texas — When Glen Schallman adopted his 1-year-old cat, Blake, he got much more than a companion. He got a pet that would eventually save his life.
Schallman lives with a combination of rare brain conditions, called polymicrogyria and unilateral schizencephaly. On top of that, he has a brain tumor known as hypothalamic hamartoma. This rare combination causes him to have daily seizures that can be deadly.
Even though Schallman's cat has never received any training, he acts as a therapy animal. When Schallman had a seizure in his sleep, Blake bit his owner's toes and woke him up.
Blake also senses when Schallman is about to have a seizure, and helps him avoid dangerous situations.
“I was sitting down watching TV, my arm started shaking, he jumped in my lap and stroked my arm, looked at me and purred,” Schallman said.
Thanks in part to Blake, Schallman is the oldest living person with his rare brain conditions. Blake's sense of duty to Schallman has created an unbreakable bond between the two.