Alexandra King & Lois, Maxine

“Lois and Maxine are 7-year old sisters. My husband adopted them five years ago from a no-kill shelter in Chicago, and named them after local diner waitresses. Even though they were the only kittens in the shelter that day, my husband said that everyone kept stopping to look, then immediately walking past their cage because it was clear they were not “normal” cats.

Which they are not. They both have a condition called cerebellar hypoplasia (sometimes affectionately known as “wobbly cat syndrome”). It’s a brain condition in which some kittens are born with an under developed cerebellum, the part of the brain which governs motor skills. As a result, cats that have CH don’t have great balance or coordination- they walk like little drunks and don’t have that regular cat-like ability to jump.

Though it sounds like a scary thing, it’s a condition that’s non-progressive, non-contagious and too few people know that it results in THE CUTEST KITTIES IN THE WORLD. They don’t do any of the asshole type things normal cats can be prone to, like scratching or biting or leaping on countertops. They’re not very bright, bless them, but they’re obsessed with people. And each other. All they want to do is cuddle. Other than not being the shiniest crayons in the pack, they are physiologically perfect. They don’t require any kind of treatments or meds or pricey trips to the vet. They have a completely normal life span. All you have to do is baby proof the house a bit (sharp corners can be a hazard) and get ready to be adored.

Every morning, I wake up wearing a cat bikini, one snoozing across my chest, one on my hips. Very sadly, many kittens that show signs of CH when they are born are often destroyed, because people think that they won’t get adopted. But they are the best cats in the world! There are a bunch of rescue places on the internet that specialize in CH cat rescue. I can’t recommend enough bringing one of these little weirdos home.” @alexandrasking

Alex King is a journalist, writer and blogger. She owns an art gallery in Chinatown with her husband Isaac. She currently works at CNN, but also freelances for The Guardian and Refinery 29 among others.


Photographer based in Brooklyn, NY.

Leave a Reply