A Warm Lap and a Beam of Sunshine: Toby’s Story

Toby, with his big paws, big eyes, big purr and big personality, is in desperate need of a special someone with a very big heart. He doesn’t ask for much, just the promise of the stability and safety that his life has thus far sadly lacked. Today, Toby needs a compassionate hero to step in and offer him the life that he deserves. Do you have a beam of sunshine? A warm lap? Do you have love to give to a gentle tuxedo boy who wants nothing more than a family to call his own? Who generously offers as much adoration as he receives, and then some? Do YOU have a very big heart? Might YOU be Toby’s special someone? Could YOU be Toby’s hero?

Toby is a handsome tuxedo boy with big black paws, big expressive eyes, and a big friendly purr. His big outgoing personality wins over everyone he meets and he is a big fan of cuddling, too. And if he could talk, Toby would have a big story to tell you. His ragged, frostbitten ears and deep, wise gaze offer a glimpse into the hardships of Toby’s life before rescue, but this resilient cat’s capacity to forgive is simply astounding. Despite his tumultuous past, since his rescue, Toby has proven that he still trusts the people in his world to do right by him. He is an optimistic guy who appreciates the simple joys of watching the exciting view through a screened window, basking in a beam of sunshine, and snuggling into a warm lap for attention and pets. Affectionate Toby just loves to be loved.

Asked to describe Toby, without hesitation his temporary foster mom gushes, “He is the sweetest cat you’ll ever meet!” She adds: Relaxed. Charmer. Loves to cuddle. Indeed, everyone who meets this cat is positively smitten with him. Toby’s nine years of life have been rough and outwardly, he looks every bit a street-smart alley cat. But don’t be fooled by Toby’s appearance; this whiskered sweetheart is as friendly as they come. Early in life, Toby was abandoned and left to fend for himself in downtown Toronto. Over the years, he was spotted by animal rescue volunteers wandering through several monitored cat colonies enduring the harsh realities of outdoor cat life — driving rain, brutal cold, aching hunger; and still he forgives. Then, in the summer of 2011, Toby was forced to confront death more closely than any young cat should when he was picked up at Front and Bathurst and left at Toronto Animal Services (TAS). At TAS, Toby was moments from being euthanized (he had already been anesthetized in preparation) when a sharp-eyed veterinary technician noticed that he was ear-tipped — a universal sign in the animal rescue community that a cat is neutered and lives in a monitored cat colony. The procedure was halted immediately and after receiving basic veterinary care, Toby was returned to a cat colony that he was known to frequent. Finally, in the fall of 2012, Toby was discovered among feral cats by an Annex Cat Rescue volunteer who recognized right away that this handsome tuxedo cat was not feral at all. In fact, she realized, Toby was in need of care, so she scooped him up and rushed him to a veterinarian. That fateful day was the end of Toby’s old life as an outdoor stray cat, and the beginning of Toby’s new life as an indoor foster cat with Annex Cat Rescue.

Unfortunately, being forced to survive outdoors for years after being abandoned has inevitably affected Toby’s health. A medical test revealed that he has feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV). Having FIV also means that Toby is more sensitive than most cats to viruses and respiratory infections, which can cause a bit of wheezy-breathing. A quality diet and a low-stress environment will reduce the effects of FIV and will greatly improve Toby’s quality of life, although he’s certainly not a complainer!

Despite his lingering health issues, Toby is a content cat who enjoys indoor living. That being said, recently, Toby has been experiencing regular stomach upset (vomiting and loose stool) every week to ten days and lasting a day or two each time. Toby’s temporary foster mom reports that during these times, Toby tends to lose his appetite and becomes more reclusive, and she admits that this can be a little scary. But, she adds, these periods of illness disappear as suddenly as they appear and afterward, Toby always returns to his happy-go-lucky social self. The veterinarian is still running tests to determine what causes these recurring periods of stomach upset. Meanwhile, Annex Cat Rescue covers the cost of all of Toby’s vet visits, which will continue regularly into the foreseeable future. His temporary foster mom accompanies him to appointments and everyone who cares for him is working toward getting Toby feeling his best.

If you are interested in fostering Toby or welcoming him into your family, please contact Annex Cat Rescue about becoming a foster parent: volunteer@annexcatrescue.ca

If you are interested in giving Toby a forever home, please email: adoption@annexcatrescue.ca

— Meredith Rappaport

This entry was posted in BlogBookmark the permalink.