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Friday, June 5, 2015

Toby, a retrospective and an achievement

Facebook sent me a picture yesterday of one of the few things I've posted there, a picture of Toby the day he came home, four years ago. I titled the picture "Lucky Kitty."


My friend Carol and I were on a two day excursion to the Three Rivers Art Festival in Pittsburgh, to visit Linda and Cara, exhibiting there, and do some shopping. Back at the motel the first night everyone heard a kitten in the bushes, in distress. No one could locate or capture it.

The next morning there stood a young girl holding the struggling kitten. The kitty app on her phone brought it straight to her, one quick nab and he was hers. Then the girl's mother was in distress; she learned the Humane Society did not open until ten and she wanted to be on the road long before then. "I'll take him," I said.

The kitten had no energy left for hissing, spitting and clawing, only to struggle to be free. Carol and I gave up all thought of a second day at the fair, and started home. The little guy and I spent two hours in a hand over hand battle. He squeezed high enough in one hand to escape and I fastened the other around him. And yes, he still howled a tiny kitten howl.

At home he fell on a bowl of kibble softened with water, drank a lot of water and climbed the quilt to sleep in my bed. I took him to the vet the next day, where he was pronounced barely four weeks old and lucky to be alive. I started a blog the same day, and my first post was about the Lucky Kitty, whose name became Toby.


Of course we take far more pictures of the babies than of the growing children. Here is the kitty his first summer, 2011.


Toby had two stepbrothers to annoy. Purrl was the outdoor cat who avoided Toby.


Ryon was the indoor cat, who he could easily annoy, especially in Ryon's safe and secret place on top of a dresser in a closet.


Ryon and Toby got along for the most part, especially as timid Ryon abdicated the catbird seat to Toby.


Yes, Toby, there is a Santa Claus.
That's the end of kitten pictures, and I had so many to select from!


He had so much energy, I bought him a gross of ping pong balls.


They were fun for quite a while,


but went on a high shelf when they weren't quite enough fun.
He has located the basketfull, and when the last little white globe disappears under a cupboard, or under the basement door and down the stairs, he merely climbs the quilt display in the studio and forks himself another from the basket.


He's more mature now. Here he is at breakfast with Laura, but only to keep her company. He will not accept table food and ignores any tidbit left in his bowl. My brother-in-law grumbles, "He won't eat real food!" He does appear from nowhere to lick the empty tuna can, however.


He still monitors the neighborhood,


and the studio,


and the front door, where he has perfected "The Lean."


He still begs for leaves every fall,
and has turned into our live-in flycatcher. No fly enters our house and lives.

Imagine Jan's surprise the other night. Toby trotted from the studio, head high. He was prevented from making the "Look what I caught!" squeak by the tail and hind feet of a mouse protruding from his mouth.  Jan called, he trotted proudly up. She picked him up, carried him outdoors and set him on the deck rail.

Not the outdoors! This cat has the same opinion of the outdoors as of table food.. It is not good. He dropped the mouse, in shock, and was rewarded by being put back in the house.


The mouse eventually left, scampered under the ramp and disappeared. Lucky for him, Purrl is on mouse patrol in cat heaven.



31 comments:

  1. Toby is a handsome cat. Love the white moustache! And I can understand about the cat pics. My kids will have thousands to throw away or delete once I'm gone... but they are such great photographic subjects! And I also understand about the flies... no insect enters our house with 5 cats without taking his life in his hands (although we have saved a few dazed lizards).

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  2. Love him. Of course. I am sure that when we finally move from here cat toys will be discovered in rather a lot of currently inaccessible places...

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  3. What a little beauty~~~ Our cat won't eat any human food at all, so strange.

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  4. LOVE the photos, especially the one of Toby having breakfast with Laura. That is the cutest thing! That's one lucky cat. I need to buy some ping pong balls. The little fur toy mice are getting to be threadbare. LOL

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  5. Hari OM
    Well heelllooooo Toby!!! What a lucky cat, to have been brought home to Joanne's place and not left, like a cup, to undetermined fate... sounds like you are setting up a proper Tom and Jerry scenario though.... in, out, chase it all about!!! YAM xx

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  6. He's a handsome cat...I had to laugh at his reaction to being put outside with his trophy....

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  7. I enjoyed this post so much, Joanne. Toby is a handsome fellow. And very lucky.

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  8. That was really cute. I like the white eye whiskers.

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  9. Toby is adorable, Joanne! :)

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  10. Toby is adorable, Joanne! :)

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  11. Love your cat story, and happy anniversary!

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  12. That is one great story. Lucky Toby.

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  13. Toby was lucky to find such a happy and loving home with you.

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  14. A very lucky kitten! Toby has matured into a handsome guy... our cat, Connolly, would love to get his nose into some human grub, unless it's fish. He despises fish. He does, however, bring us 'gifts'.

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  15. That is one jolly lucky cat Joanne. They say cats have nine lives - I think Toby had already lost one of his when you found him. He looks a lovely cat and you are obviously a cat person.

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  16. Gorgeous, smart and lucky to boot!

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  17. Toby is such a cutie and very lucky to survive at barely four weeks. I'm glad he came home with you.

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  18. Excellent cat story. I've never thought of ping pong balls, although I imagine there have been plenty of times when someone stepped on one by mistake, followed by variety of comments.

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  19. I've rescued many a cat in my day. in fact most all my cats have been rescues including the one I have now. one year a black cat came crying at my door hungry and bedraggled. we took her in and three days later she had three kittens. before we got a dog when our son was 11 maybe, I wondered why all the stray cats seemed to come to our yard. eventually I figured out we were just about the only ones on the block without a dog.

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  20. Wow, what a saga. I had 2 cats but both died. Won't adopt any more. I am done with pets.
    Now I have 2 grandkids, instead.

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  21. what a beautiful cat toby is and what a great shot of the saved mouse, sweet little guy, our neighborhood cat Barney caught a wood rat the other day , ugh they are huge and scary looking

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  22. Lucky little kitty, indeed. I've always had a soft spot for mustachioed tuxedo-like cats. He quite pretty!

    (Thanks for your visit and your good wishes for later this month. That was kind of you.)

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  23. Nice that you saved that little kitten from starvation. It sure didn't take long for it to know a good home! -- barbara

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  24. What a sweet cat! So glad you decided to take him years before and give him the love of a family!

    betty

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  25. Sounds like he was a little fighter who has now retired into a comfortable and privileged middle age. What a great cat! I stilll miss having a cat.

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  26. Jan was very kind to that caught mouse. I don't think it would have survived to live in my back yard. So a cat started your blog?

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  27. What a great story... and what a lucky cat Toby is! And it's always interesting to hear how blogs get started.

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