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
Toby has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a condition wherein his droopy skin is extremely fragile and easily tears. Having suffered in his last home, Toby looked to his big brother for protection in the shelter.
“Straight away we could see their bond,” Price told The Dodo. “Quinton [was] wide-eyed and snappy (they gave us some tuna to feed them) but the whole time Toby was huddled in the corner or behind his brother constantly. Having rescued before, we knew this wasn’t anything to worry about.”
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 soft boops does the trick.”
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.”