Luke in a lecture

3 10 2013

Luke is the brother/boyfriend we found at the Humane Society for Sylvie last December, and he featured in my undergrad lecture on the brain this week. He has cerebellar hypoplasia, a condition affecting cats and dogs if their mothers get parvovirus when pregnant (or are innoculated against it, as Luke’s mother, a stray, was). He has many classic features of cerebellar dysfunction including ataxia, intention tremors, and an exaggerated quality to all his ballistic actions (like jumping; when he leaps, it’s as if gravity has been abolished for a moment — it’s impossible not to say “boing!”). Unfortunately the cerebellum has cognitive and affective functions as as well as motor, and there is no doubt about it, Luke is a bit “special”. But he and his sister/girlfriend adore each other, and that’s the main thing.

Luke in a lecture