Georgina Price and her fiancé, Chris, weren’t planning on adopting so soon after the loss of their rescue cat, Herbie. But when Price spotted Toby and Quinton on the RSPCA’s website, she knew she had to meet the bonded cats in person
Toby was pretty hard to miss on the site. His slack, wrinkled face gave him a pensive expression making him appear wise beyond his six years.
The six-year-old short-haired cat has Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS)—a rare, congenital condition that causes his skin to be unusually elastic and loose. It can be found in both people and animals.
Having suffered in his last home, Toby looked to his big brother for protection in the shelter.
Toby also shares a very special bond with Quinton, a seven-year-old black and white cat who is missing all of his teeth. The two were inseparable buddies in their shelter in Stroud, England, so when Georgina Price and her fiancé Christopher Lardner first discovered them on the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) website, they knew they had to give both of them a new forever home. For Price, it was love at first sight, and the couple immediately submitted an application.
“The fact that they both had medical issues, Toby’s EDS and Quinton’s lack of teeth, meant that not only could we help two special needs cats but also keep two brothers from other mothers together,” she said.
Quinton and Toby were hesitant to trust their new parents and insisted on living under the bed for weeks after their arrival. But after lots of time and treats, the timid cats began to warm up to their new parents, finally feeling comfortable and safe.
Quinton still made sure to care for Toby just as he had during their stay in the shelter.
“Quinton has been a great big brother and cleans Toby’s face and neck,” Price said. “Surprisingly Quinton barely gets his claws out when playing with Toby. He knows not to hurt him so normally a couple of
Toby’s unique looks have recently gained him a passionate following on Instagram. With over 12,000 followers, Toby is becoming a kind of poster cat for EDS, raising awareness around the rare condition.
“It’s hard not to fall in love with Toby as soon as you look at him, everybody does,” Price said. “However, the truth is Toby mostly suffers from the skin side of EDS — there’s a whole spectrum of symptoms that can come with EDS and in a way we are lucky the saggy skin is his main ailment.”
“It can be such a debilitating condition for people and animals,” Price added. “So spreading some awareness is a great offshoot of us just posting pictures of our cats.”
Even with the daily challenges his condition poses, Toby loves spending his time playing with his bouncy ball, snuggling with his brother and begging his mom for belly rubs.
Though his drooping face looks sad, his mom insists that’s far from Toby’s disposition: “He’s such a happy boy and so wonderful and playful.”
“Toby is as he looks,” Price said, “the kindest and cutest little soul out there.”
All Credits Images: tummyandgummy