Toby – Ragdoll of the Week

TobyIn March, 2011, I was browsing on, and came across an ad for a papered, 3 year old blue point ragdoll at a local cat rescue. The photos were blurry, but there he was, the Ragdoll of my dreams!

The ad had been posted minutes before, and I, after some wheeling and dealing with the husband, snatched up my phone, and made the call.

That afternoon, with carrier in hand, I went to pick up my Toby. Upon arriving at the rescue, I was horrified at the conditions he was living in. There were cats milling about everywhere, several litters of “ragdoll x kittens,” and the smell was enough to knock me off my feet.

Toby then, 8lbs, bony and so sick
Toby then, 8lbs, bony and so sick
Toby was a disaster, but I didn’t dwell on it at that moment, and spirited him away. I then reported the rescue to the SPCA, and it was subsequently shut down.

I brought my Toby home, and did a full assessment. He had severe eye infections, ear mites so badly he was bald from his ears to his eyebrows, and around the back of his head, he was significantly underweight, with every bone in his body prominent, matted beyond belief, and he was terrified. He was afraid of men, cats, dogs, kids, dust bunnies, shadows, essentially,

Toby now, 15lbs, and healthy as can be
Toby now, 15lbs, and healthy as can be
everything. My heart wept for the cat he should be, and for whatever had happened to him in the year since he left the breeder’s home that he had been apart of.

Toby took to me like white on rice, and allowed me to remove his matts, clean and medicate his eyes, and his mites. He purred when I approached with his lysine laced meals, a quiet, subtle “thank you.” Day after day we danced, me sitting quietly on the floor, and him slowly making his way towards me, shying away and Tobyadvancing, as household noises went on in the background. In time, his eyes cleared, his mites perished, his coat became matt free and manageable, and he steadily put back the weight he was missing, but he was not happy. He went through the motions, it seemed, surviving from one day to the next.

Finally, after about 6 month, the switch was thrown, and he fully came out of shell. His purr grew to a loud freight engine purr, his eyes brightened, he started seeking attention from anyone and everything in the house, including my husband and my then 18 month old Tobydaughter, and he started playing. I’ll never forget watching him prance out of the bedroom that morning, and attacking the toy mouse, throwing it around the house for a good hour. That’s when I knew that I had finally done right by him.

Toby is my heart cat. He is not a typical Ragdoll, based on his experiences, he can be nippy, and snarky, but he is a supreme suck, and his love knows no bounds. He is so patient and caring, accepting my new kittens like they had been here all along. I have such conflicting emotions towards those that had him before me, but ultimately feel pity, as they never got to experience the joy that is being headbutted by my 15lb, purring, kneading and furry friend.

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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. What a great feel-good story. So happy for you and Toby:)

  2. Thank you for saving Toby and giving him a good life 🙂 Both of you are beautiful! I love the pictures of Toby, especially with kittens 🙂

  3. Oh Toby’s story made me cry. You are definitely his angel and now he is yours. Know what you mean about him being your heart. They don’t come along very often, but when they do, you know that the two of you share a special bond that is like none other. Am so happy for you both and that you are giving Toby the life he so deserves.

  4. Hi folks 🙂

    Toby is my baby, and I thank you for the lovely comments about my boy. The rescue was at an apartment, and absolutely a hoarder situation. I’ve wanted a ragdoll since I was a child, as I said, and I could not leave him there. He has rewarded me so greatly, and made my love for ragdolls flourish. Saving him was the best decision I’ve ever made IRT animals. 🙂

    Thanks again,

  5. Henry Hobson says:

    You know what strikes me most about this, all the heartbreaking aspects aside, is that Toby’s mom had a 12-mo. old baby at the time of his rescue!

    So many people allow themselves to make excuses for not rescuing or adopting a cat in better health let alone with Toby’s severe at-risk conditions. I’d say God Bless you this lady but she already knows she is.

  6. That’s an amazing story. c: I can’t believe such a beautiful, loving cat could have come from such awful conditions. Hopefully more shelters like that will be shut down so kitties don’t have to suffer. 🙁

  7. Toby’s story gave me a lump in my throat. What a beautiful beautiful boy! I am so thrilled that you two found each other. Huge kudos to you for giving him such a wonderful life, and I know he will reward you with the same.

  8. You two — a match made in heaven. From good karma brings great reward for all of you…

  9. What a wonderfully-happy ending to what started out such a tragic story! Toby is lucky, indeed… although, knowing my own Ragdoll boycat so well (and adoring him so impossibly much), I have the feeling you consider yourself at least as lucky as he. 🙂 You did an amazing thing, rescuing your baby from his nightmare, and that gorgeous, affectionate head-butter is your well-deserved reward.

  10. Toby is one lucky boy! I applaud your ability to see through to the boy he was meant to be. Many ‘rescues’ are more or less, hoarders. They think they’re doing a good deed, but the animals who are sick get worse, and the healthy ones can’t escape the diseases and bugs. Toby is beautiful!

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