Georgina Price and her fiancée Christopher Lardner once adopted an abandoned cat. However, not long after this cat died. And luckily they opened their hearts to welcome a new cat.
“I just kept thinking about all the animals that might only have five months left and would spend the whole of that time in a shelter,” Georgina told Meow. “We decided we would look for an extra special cat that might take a little longer to find a home.”
While browsing the web, Georgina stumbled upon Toby and Quinton, a pair of bonded cats who both were in search of a new home. “I saw them on the RSPCA website and fell in love with their sweet little faces,” Georgina said. Quinton, a 7-year-old black and white cat, was missing all of his teeth and Toby, a 6-year-old short-haired feline, had a lot of loose skin.
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Eventually, Georgina found out that Toby had been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) or feline cutaneous asthenia (FCA), a congenital condition that can cause unusually stretchy, loose, and fragile skin due to a lack of collagen. “We’d never heard of EDS before we found him, we just knew that he needed a loving home and we have so much love to give,” Georgina said.
Georgina and Christopher visited the duo at the RSPCA where they lived in a special unit. “They were both terrified and huddled right at the back. Toby just hid behind Quinton the whole time, trembling.”
Georgina was able to pet Quinton, but she couldn’t touch Toby because he was just too scared. All things considered, she and Christopher were still confident they were ready to take good care of the exceptionally nervous special needs feline, so they adopted both Toby and Quinton.
It didn’t take long for Toby and Quinton to find peace in their new home. Seven months later, these two are doing perfectly fine. Toby’s delicate skin condition, however, makes him prone to injury even when he’s simply grooming himself or playing with Quinton. “Toby and Quinton are inseparable and Quinton tries to clean up Toby’s face when possible and when they play, Quinton knows to keep his claws retracted.”
Because of Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, Toby’s stomach hangs down to his knees, and Georgina and Christopher are concerned about the effect the added weight of this extra skin might have on his long-term health. “EDS can cause joint problems and the excess weight of his skin makes us think that he will have problems in later life,” Georgina explained.
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Minimizing stress on his joints, Toby’s owners try to prevent him from jumping up or down from high places, but even though he requires a bit more extra care, Georgina and Christopher couldn’t be happier with Toby and his bro Quinton.
His condition aside, Toby is just your average kitty. He enjoys bird watching, playing with bouncy balls, and snuggling with his owners. “He loves belly rubs and will plop himself next to you and look at you, waiting for you to rub his belly,” Georgina said.
The woman hopes that sharing Toby’s story will not only raise awareness about his rare condition but will encourage more people to consider bringing special needs cats into their lives. “It doesn’t take any more to love them and despite whatever it is that may make them ‘special needs’, they are still beautiful animals with their own amazing personalities, likes, dislikes, and the ability to love you back.”
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