By Chris Jaffray
A rare condition means this adorable cat tumbles head over heels every few steps like he’s drunk when trying to walk.
Black moggy Thorin, named after the dwarf in The Hobbit, was born with cerebellar hypoplasia, a neurological condition known as ‘wobbly cat syndrome’.
But owner Maria Skold, from Conneticut, insisted the two-year-old kitty leads a happy life and thinks he is ‘the most normal cat in the world’.
Chef Maria, 27, said although other people notice there is something wrong with Thorin, they quickly warm to the moggy, who loves being carried around in a backpack.
Maria, who looks after the moggy with their wife, said: “We were aware of his condition before we adopted him.
“It present us with some unique situations for his comfort.
“My wife was in vet school when we got him, she is now a trained and certified veterinarian which is awesome because it means he gets top notch care.
“After having done some research on the condition we understand it does not cause him pain, it doesn’t increase the likelihood of other diseases or conditions, and it does not decrease his lifespan.
“We also can tell from our own experiences that he is happy.
“As for other people’s reaction to him, if you were to see him try to walk it is very obvious that something is different.
“People most often feel bad for him, however, if you spend enough time around him you start to realise he doesn’t think he is different at all.
“He thinks he is the most normal thing in the world and that he is awesome – he’s very much a cat in that way.
“He’s very friendly and most people really do come around to seeing how happy he is once they spend some time with him.”
The couple first came into contact with Thorin – full name Thorin Oakenshield, son of Thráin, son of Thrór, King under the Mountain – when he was being fostered by a fellow student.
From time to time the student needed someone to take care of him when she was away and the pair gladly volunteered.
After falling in love with Thorin the second time they looked after him they couldn’t say goodbye and decided to take him into their home around two years ago.
Maria added: “There are some things we have to do differently for him.
“We have litter boxes that are super big because he lays down when he uses them, and if the sides are too low he may go over the side.
“We do have stairs in our current residence and they are carpeted so he can go up and down them – very awkwardly, I might add.
“We have to accept that any furniture we have will get claw marks on it because he can climb up them but he uses his claws he can’t just jump up.
“We have also made him some ramps to get onto a shelf that’s next to a window that he likes to look out of.
“The other big thing is the backpack we carry him in.
“Since he doesn’t walk very well we put him in a backpack when we go out with him.
“We take him on walks and a bunch of places to go around.
“The backpack opens up at the top so he can sit look out and around.”