‘Wobbly’ Greater Victoria cat captures hearts of thousands online

Owner says cat has rare neurological condition

An adorable furry feline with a neurological condition that causes it to fall down when walking has captured the hearts of thousands of people on social media.

Trooper is a three-year-old domestic longhair with cerebellar hypoplasia (CH), a condition in which the cerebellum, which controls a cat’s fine motor skills, doesn’t develop. The result – a somewhat wobbly cat that falls over on his side when walking.

“He seems to do better when he tries to run really fast, he’ll get further. When he tries to walk slowly, he will fall over on his side, so then he does a few ab crunch workouts to get back up and then he keeps going,” said Charla Stromkins, an Esquimalt resident and Trooper’s owner.

Trooper has moderate to severe CH, and will fall down anywhere from 20 to 50 times a day. But like any other cat, he uses a litter box and enjoys chasing squirrels, it just takes him a bit longer to get from point A to point B.

Stromkins first became aware of the condition after seeing a video on social media about a cat with CH. While she’s had cats in the past, she’d never heard of CH and did some research. Six months later Stromkins saw then five-month-old Trooper on the Victoria Humane Society’s web page. He had been found in a barn in Mill Bay.

Two weeks later, she drove up to the foster home and spent three hours playing with the cat. She fell in love with his care-free and fun-loving nature and took him home that day.

Since then, Trooper has adapted to his surroundings. Instead of walking down the middle of the hallway, he’ll walk against the wall to prevent himself from falling.

“He’s changed my life dramatically. He’s such an incredible cat. We can all learn something from him,” Stromkins said. “He’s so independent, but he has this spirit about him.”

Trooper’s resilience has captured hearts on social media. He now has more than 10,000 followers on Instagram. While most of the videos and photos are funny, Stromkins is using the account to raise awareness of the condition.

Stromkins has adopted a second cat, Sampson, who also has CH. She notes it’s a big responsibility adopting a special needs cat and urges anyone interested to do their research.

kendra.wong@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Woman injured during West Shore RCMP arrest prompts police watchdog investigation

IIO investigating to determine if police action or inaction linked to woman’s injuries

VIDEO: ‘Life-saving’ Fix-A-Heart campaign hits $40,000 two weeks in

Canadian Tire on track to surpass 2018 donation of $41,445

Victoria Foundation’s community grants support 109 local non-profits

Foundation delivers $2.8 million in grant money to local organizations

UPDATED: Saanich structure fire sparked in child daycare

Motorists advised to avoid the area of the highway, Glanford Avenue, Royal Oak Drive and Quadra Street off ramp

Invasive English holly poses threat to Island’s eco-system

Not so jolly holly, say consrvationists, as invasive species attacks indigenous plants

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Sooke’s École Poirier students win B.C. Hydro Power Smart contest

More than 100 schools compete in province-wide competition

Owner surrenders dogs chained up outside among scrap metal, garbage to BC SPCA

Shepherd-breed dogs were living in ‘deplorable conditions.’

Most Read