- Associated Press - Sunday, May 4, 2014

FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - Meet Slinky.

You just know that with a name like that, he’s got to be one great guy.

He is … and more.

“He’s a hero,” says Sharon Vincent, who’s known Slinky for about 15 years or so.

He’s always up for a conversation, even if you’re not.

And if you’re comfy in that big overstuffed easy chair, just imagine how much comfier he would be. Because he does.

Like your morning newspaper? So does he … yours … shredded to bits.

“He’s just a happy-go-lucky guy who likes to demand your attention,” she said. And she’s right. Just try giving a split second of your attention to anyone else … just try … and he’ll quickly bring the focus back to where it belongs … him.

“You can never ignore him. Never,” she said. “He simply won’t let you.”

He’s one of her best friends, she said.

And it doesn’t matter that he’s a cat.

That makes him all the more lovable.

The handsome orange-and-white tabby has overcome more obstacles than a steeplechaser.

He was born with feline cerebellar hypoplasia, a non-progressive, non-contagious neurological condition that results in walking and balance problems.

A kitten is born with “CH” when the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls fine motor skills and coordination, is underdeveloped at birth.

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