After walking 12 miles to find the family that gave him away, only to be dumped at an animal shelter and slated for euthanization, a beautiful ginger cat named Toby has now found his forever home — and Internet fame!
According to the Wake County SPCA, the fluffy seven-year-old feline initially was a stray cat that tried to insert himself into a local household, but did not get along well with the cats who already lived there. He was re-homed with a new family, but this didn’t suit the determined feline, who made the journey back to his old home in search of the people he had chosen. Heartbreakingly for this loyal boy, the family didn’t want Toby back, and they passed him on to a local shelter to be euthanized.
Toby’s expedition caught the attention of international press and the story of his odyssey went viral on social media, where thousands of people fell in love with the handsome cat.
This social media fame helped him find his perfect new home, and he now has his very own Instagram account with more than 26,000 followers. Toby now lives in New Hampshire with new mom Michele Puckett, who saw a post about Toby on the Instagram account of Howard Stern’s wife, Beth Stern. She instantly decided to adopt this sweet kitty, who gets on superbly with his new clan — which includes two other cats.
“He is just so sweet, cuddly and loving,” said Michele Puckett. “He’s also pretty much taken over our bed, as if he’s lived here forever. He loves to relax and lay under our pillows.”
Diagnosed with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Toby needs a bit of extra TLC and special medical care. The condition can weaken a cat’s immune system and make them prone to other infections. But a caring and supportive home environment means Toby can hope to live a healthy and happy life for many years to come.
The Wake County SPCA who helped re-home Toby are using his newfound fame to help raise funds for other animals in need of a helping hand. They are hosting a special dog walk on May 6, and people can make donations to support Toby’s Team.
“Toby’s story is very special,” says Tara Lynn, communications manager for Wake County SPCA. “It’s resonated with a lot of people. There are a lot of Tobys out there. That’s why we’re asking people to walk or donate or get involved with their local rescue. We can’t save them all unless we have the resources to do so.”