Georgina Price and her fiancé, Chris, had not intended to adopt so soon after losing their rescue cat, Herbie. But after seeing Toby and Quinton on the RSPCA’s website, Price knew she wanted to see the mated cats in person.
Toby was difficult to overlook on the location. His saggy, wrinkled face gave him a melancholy air, making him appear older than his six years.
Toby has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), which causes his drooping skin to be exceedingly brittle and easily torn. Toby, who had struggled in his previous home, looked to his larger brother for protection in the shelter.
“We could sense their relationship right immediately,” Price told The Dodo. “Quinton [was] wide-eyed and snappy (they gave us some tuna to feed them), but Toby was continually tucked in the corner or behind his sibling.” We knew this wasn’t anything to be concerned about because we’d rescued previously.”
For Price, it was love at first sight, and the pair applied right away.
“Because they both had medical difficulties, Toby’s EDS and Quinton’s lack of teeth, we were able to not only help two special needs cats but also keep two brothers from different moms together,” she explained.
Quinton and Toby were wary of their new parents and insisted on living beneath the bed for several weeks after they arrived. But, with enough time and incentives, the hesitant cats began to warm up to their new parents, ultimately feeling at ease and safe.
Quinton continued to look after Toby like he had done during their stay at the shelter.
“Quinton has been a wonderful big brother, cleaning Toby’s face and neck,” Price explained. “Surprisingly, Quinton seldom gets his claws out while he’s playing with Toby.” He understands not to damage him, so a few of light boops usually enough.”
Toby’s distinct appearance has recently earned him a devoted following on Instagram. Toby is becoming a type of poster cat for EDS, with over 12,000 followers, increasing awareness about the uncommon disorder.
“It’s difficult not to fall in love with Toby the moment you look at him,” Price added. “However, the fact is that Toby largely suffers from the skin side of EDS – there’s a broad range of symptoms that may occur with EDS, and we’re blessed that his major issue is droopy skin.”
“It may be a really devastating ailment for both humans and animals,” Price warned. “Spreading awareness is a nice result of us just uploading images of our pets.”
Despite the everyday hurdles that his illness presents, Toby enjoys playing with his bouncing ball, snuggling with his sibling, and pestering his mother for belly rubs.
Though his sagging face appears mournful, his mother claims that this is not Toby’s disposition: “He’s such a cheerful, lovely, and fun boy.”
“Toby is the sweetest and prettiest little soul out there,” Price stated.