This week we talk to Emily Hall, about her very special, happy-go-lucky cat Sophie who has cerebellar hypoplasia, or what is commonly known as ‘wobbly cat’ syndrome.
How old is Sophie and where was she adopted from?
Sophie will be two in May. My husband and I adopted her from Circle of Friends Animal Society (COFAS), a rescue organisation in Georgia.
How long have you had her?
She has been with us for a little over a year. We adopted her in January of 2013.
What’s her background?
Sophie was rescued by COFAS as a kitten, and it became obvious early on that she had cerebellar hypoplasia. She was in the care of her foster mom until we adopted her when she was 8 months old, but she had been up for adoption for a while. She hadn’t been adopted because of her ‘disability’. I know that she had a wonderful and loving home with her foster mom though. We still keep in touch with her and bring Sophie by to visit her on adoption days.
What made you fall in love with Sophie and adopt her?
We fell in love with Sophie immediately. We walked into the cat adoption room and saw this adorable cat stumbling and slipping on the tile floor. We had no idea why she couldn’t seem to walk straight, but it didn’t matter to us. We sat there watching her play, falling all over herself and having a good time. She did not seem to care or even notice that she was different. She was just happy, and she seemed to have a constant smile on her face. Then my husband picked her up, and she immediately started purring and went to sleep in his arms. The rest is history. Everyone that meets Sophie falls in love with her. Whenever I take her to the pet store with me, people flock to pet her and ask about her. I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve had people tell me they would take her off my hands. My husband and I joke and call her our ‘celebri-cat’.
What’s her favourite treat or food?
She LOVES raw rabbit meat. Whenever we serve that, she inhales it in a matter of seconds, then looks up, makes her adorable chirping noise, and asks for more.
What’s your favourite activity together?
Sophie loves to go on adventures. We all really enjoy going outside and playing fetch with her. She will chase anything. She also enjoys riding in the car, and even on boats! Yes, she has been on a boat ride before and loved it.
What makes her extra special?
What some might see as a disability, I see as ‘extra special’. Sophie can’t easily do so many things that normal cats can do – like use the litter box, jump up on the couch or bed, climb stairs, or even just walk or run a straight line. She has had to find alternative ways to do all of these things, and watching her do that has been an amazing and rewarding experience. Whenever she accomplishes something that she couldn’t do before, she always looks up at me with a look that says, “Look, Mom, I did it!” and I can’t help but celebrate with her.
Animals teach us a lot. What can we learn from Sophie?
Sophie is a perfect example of the lesson that with perseverance and determination, you can accomplish anything. She never lets her disability get in the way of something she wants to do. When she falls over or trips over her own feet, she just gets right back up and doesn’t let it bother her.