cats, family, friendship, Mental Health, writing, Young Adult fiction

The Tale of Toby

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(Pun not intended. Sorry, guys.)

For those of you who aren’t acquainted with this furry blessing, his name is Toby. Or, Furtration, Mouser Man, the Polecat, and a few other terms of endearment that aren’t coming to me right now. We do actually sometimes call him Toby, too.

Tobias Nelson, I christened him shortly after he adopted me. He was already owned by my husband, before his title was husband, so White Fang and I were the newcomers. Toby was a shelter rescue, and we’ve given him a good home. In return, he has turned my heart to honorary fur.

In fact, I am the Cat Whisperer — I tend to be able to form a bond with cats who are known for being shy around people. Toby is no exception. But he has done for me what only one other cat has emotionally (sorry, folks, I can’t talk about that yet).

Now 13 years old (interestingly, so is White Fang), Toby has used probably 5 of his 9 lives, through being a sheer daredevil. He will chase anything that runs on four legs, climb trees, jump over fences, belly-crawl under porches. He is truly a Warrior cat.

He has been my companion during cold winter nights, a pain in my neck when I’m trying to write, an inspiration while I’m writing, the muse for several projects by myself and White Fang. He is my furbaby.

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He’s also a survivor in more ways than one. Through the years, he’s shown serious signs of some PTSD, and has overcome a great deal of it. The SPCA saved him from whatever terrible fate he was facing; then he came to us, and we’ve helped him to thrive, and he’s changed our lives forever.

When Muffin arrived, that was a new experience for both cat and baby. Baby, of course, because everything’s new to him; cat because White Fang was already in kindergarten when they first met. Toby has, overall, handled having a small human around with patience and aplomb. (Not 100%, but that’s to be expected.)

Late this summer, we discovered a very serious wound on Toby’s leg, and he had to spend a week at the vet’s being treated. It was a period of intense stress (for all of us). Having him home again — although it took another two weeks for the injury to be completely healed — was just incredible and beautiful.

If I had my way, Toby would be nearly immortal, and we’ll never have to think about being parted from him.

Sssh, let me have the fantasy.

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