Spinner’s Tail

In 2004 I started volunteering with Toronto Animal Services, not long after I overheard some of the volunteers talking about a particular cat that had just come in.  I will preface this by saying that all cats are beautiful and unique, but the talk around the shelter said there was something really special about this new cat.

Spinner fish bow xmas 2006

There in his cage was a beautiful silver tabby. On the cage card was written the name Spinner, Male, approximately 2 years, stray. Due to his striking looks he had immediately caught the attention of staff and volunteers … then there was the spinning.

Spinner first look outside

Spinner was diagnosed with Feline vestibular disease, a condition that causes in-coordination, circling to one side, involuntary darting of the eyes back and forth (nystagmus), and a head tilt. The vet had said it is likely the cause of a brain lesion but that there is no pain associated with the condition or treatment.  Spinner will sometimes turn around in a circle before getting to where he needs to be or when excited (especially during feeding time). However, when he is relaxed he can almost walk the length of a room in a straight line. Because of this condition Spinner was considered a special needs cat.

We already had two other cats at home, a tricolor tabby named Cleo and a little house panther named Simon, so I knew it was going to take some convincing to add a third. As luck would have it that year the animal shelter had decided to participate in the cat show during the Canadian National Exhibition. They entered a few cats, including Spinner, into the  “household cats” category in hopes of getting them adopted and to also help highlight cat adoptions at the animal shelter.

SIMON JULY last week together 2010 _004

I remember convincing my mother to come to see Spinner, you know just to take a look. We watched as he was placed on the judging table, then picked up and held, and stretched the whole time handling it all like a pro. By the end of the show Spinner had won over the judges and taken home 11 ribbons in the best household cat category! My mom was on the fence about bringing another cat in, but after meeting him, she couldn’t say no.

At home Spinner and Simon became quick friends and best buddies Spinner was always with or near Simon. Cleo didn’t much care for either so the boys bonded.  Many years later Cleo passed away and then Simon was gone. Spinner sadly had become an only cat. It was a very rough time but Spinner helped me get through the loss becoming the full center of attention and soaking it all in.


Spinner LOVES to he held, all the time. He will stand on his hind legs and practically climb his way up you if you don’t pick him up. He has a habit of jumping on your back when you bend over, then he makes himself comfortable there. He loves to sit on your shoulders and…personal space? No clue what that means, but really does any cat?


Spinner is a very affectionate cat, can be demanding of your attention, is a purr machine that loves to cuddle, and loves to talk. Did I mention he loves to talk? Sometimes he doesn’t know when to stop, so he then resorts to “making noises” where he doesn’t open his mouth and just bobs his head up and down.

He has many sleeping spots and likes to change it up, under the bed, in a basket, on a chair, on the stove, atop the fridge, in cat bed or a closet.  He will always choose to be near or on me. He has this thing where he will sit on my arm, when I am typing – a clever distraction.

Spinner close up

Spinner has earned himself a multitude of nicknames, as did all our cats, including bunny rabbit face, pinner, noise maker, gummy bear, snotty pants because he has mastered the look of disapproval, white tiger, google eyes, and cuddle monkey.

Spinner’s belly is a free for all and it’s a good thing to because it’s pretty appealing. You can rub his ears, squeeze his paws, hold and hug him without protest.

Spinner sleeping on his back July 2015

Spinner has me wrapped around his paws and I adore him, even though sometimes he can drive me crazy, I tell him this on a regular basis.  He is constantly doing something goofy or being ridiculously cute.  Of course when he is naughty I can’t stay angry with him for long.

Spinner xmas 2006

Spinner also has a fan club. People who have met him will ask how he is or remark how lucky I was to have adopted him. Looking back I don’t know if it was fate or just good timing that brought Spinner into my life, whatever it was I am thankful for it and the time that we have together.

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Thanks for letting me share Spinner and his story with you!




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36 thoughts on “Spinner’s Tail

    • Purr and Roar says:

      thank you, the condition can also be a temporary one dogs as well as cats can get it but sometime it is treatable, as an ear infection, & goes away after a few weeks. In Spinners case they determined that bc it did not go away it is for an unknown cause like a brain lesion etc..although diagnosis could not be fully done without an MRI. unfortunately This was not an option but he has adapted really well 🙂

  1. The Canadian Cats says:

    Thanks for letting us meet Spinner….he is a fantastic cat. So loving! There are some pretty great cats out there and a small disability such as this can easily be cared for.

    Shoko and Kali and mom

  2. lawjic says:

    I have truly enjoyed this very special story about Spinner and Simon. Thanks for sharing it. I just lost my 19 year old cat, Ms. Cali, and must say that Ms. Cali had several of that EXACT same doggie bed. I always wanted her to have new, fresh beds as with HER age, she spent a whole lot of time all stretched out in her doggie beg (she was a relatively large cat and cat beds were way TOO small and never worked, so I kept buying her NEW doggie beds (the exact one in the photos).

    What a special and lovely story which REALLY made me smile. SPINNER has a FOREVER home and a friend and that is a wonderful story. Thanks again for sharing it!!

    ~Sheryl <3

    • Purr and Roar says:

      I am really sorry to hear you lost your Cali recently but it sounds like you have wonderful memories. I love that she had several dog beds! I am glad you enjoyed Spinners story & thanks for your message 🙂

  3. Nomadsandcats says:

    Thanks for sharing. It’s a great story and Spinner is so cute!! I am so envy about your cat being so clingy ( I wish mine was, he needs a lot of personal space to think about his….life?). Please share more stories about Spinner, I am officially his fan now 🙂

    • Purr and Roar says:

      Spinner is the most clingy out of all our cats & becomes even more so, I am not sure if it’s age but he knows how to play it up that’s for sure lol. He has what I call his sucky baby voice to I can’t get it on video bc as soon as I try to he stops. Thanks for reading his story!

    • Purr and Roar says:

      Thank you he is love bug. It was so strange only having Spinner after we lost Cleo & then Simon. Especially since Simon & Spinner were good friends. I like to think that Simon is still watching over his brother 🙂

  4. cheekiecat says:

    Just reading this made me fall in love with Spinner(= And he is so alike my Zeke in terms of having a “glitch” (Zeke walks with a limp), being an attention machine and making it so hard for me to stay angry with him when he is up to mischief. Heartwarming read this is!

    • Purr and Roar says:

      Thank you, I am so glad people are enjoying his story. I went over & checked out your Zeke he is a very handsome boy with those blue eyes & beautiful markings. 🙂

  5. Holly'sMom says:

    What a lovely cat! And lovely story! So glad Spinner was able to come home with you! Sounds like it worked out perfectly for everyone! I too have many names for my three cats, but was interested you called Spinner “Bunny Face”. Only because sometimes one of my cats makes me think of a bunny, too. When that happens, I just call her “Bunny Bunny” or “Bunny Cat”. Not quite as original as yours, but I’ve never known anyone else to refer to their cat as Bunny anything, so I liked seeing that. 🙂

    • Purr and Roar says:

      Thank you I am glad so many people are enjoying it! Spinner has many nick names these are just a few. Bunny Rabbit face come from the fact that his ears look so big sometimes in comparison to his head..it was the first thing that came to mind. Sometimes I will even say he has bunny rabbit feet bc of the way they look when he is sleeping. It’s funny how we come up with names, but I find mine are mostly spontaneous though. 🙂

  6. Pingback: Saying Goodbye – A Tribute To Spinner |

  7. Pingback: Guest Star: A Tribute for Spinner – Katzenworld

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