When Georgina Price met Toby, she knew he was perfect. Not only did she take him home, but his best friend, too.
Toby the cat is six years old and looks wise beyond his age. He has feline cutaneous asthenia (FCA), a condition in which the cat's skin is very fragile, loose and easily bruised, also known as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome in humans.
"It means that his body doesn't produce collagen properly. It doesn't heal as well as it should and scars very easily," Georgina told Love Meow.
But that didn't stop her from falling in love with the sweet kitty. When Georgina and her fiancé Christopher Lardner met Toby, he was cowering in the corner at the shelter, hiding behind his best friend, Quinton.
"I saw them on the RSPCA website and fell in love instantly," Georgina said. "When we met them, they were both terrified and huddled right at the back. Toby just hid behind Quinton the whole time, trembling. I didn't even get to touch him because he was just so scared."
When the shelter took them in, they were in rough shape. Quinton had to have all of his teeth removed, and Toby also had a few extracted. The two were always together through thick and thin. The shelter knew immediately that they needed each other and had to be adopted together.
Georgina saw their sad little faces and knew right away that they were the ones to take home and love on. "We'll always take care of them and give them all of the love and security that they need."
They filled out the paperwork and officially made them part of their family. Over the next few weeks, Toby took refuge with his brother in a hiding spot at their new home.
"We had to feed them under the bed and they didn't come out unless we were out of the house or asleep," Georgina told Love Meow. "Eventually, they began to trust us but it was slow."
Toby takes comfort from Quinton and follows him everywhere he goes. As Quinton became more confident, Toby would start to come out of his shell a bit more. Eventually, he would explore the place trailing behind his best friend, his shield and protector.
Once they realized that they were safe and no longer needed to be afraid, they began to blossom. "Toby is such a sweet boy and just goes along with whatever Quinton wants."
With each passing day, Toby stood a bit taller and felt more comfortable being in his own abode. Then one day, he started to seek affection from his humans and even discovered cuddles.
Now, whenever Georgina is in the kitchen making coffee, Toby will come running, stretching up to see what Mom is making and begging for some treat.
Watch Toby in this cute video:
Toby the cat with rare condition finds forever home youtu.be
"He's just so playful and full of life. To see the difference from the scared, sad boy that we adopted is just astounding," Georgina told Love Meow.
Toby loves belly rubs and enjoys playing with bouncy balls and shoe laces. He feels like a kitten again and can't get enough of playtime with Quinton.
"Quinton is a great big brother and takes care of Toby, cleaning him up when he hurts himself and waking Dad up for our breakfast," Georgina added.
"They wait in the window for us to get home and run to the door when they see us. They're so playful and fun. They bring such life to the place."
Due to his condition, Toby requires some special care to keep him safe and in the best shape possible.
"We try to manage this by trimming his nails, keeping the house clean and trying to avoid scratches. We feel very lucky that Toby's condition seems to be fairly mild."
"When we adopted him, he weighed 5.7kg (12.6 lb) despite being a small cat — this is because of his excess skin. Toby is a very happy, healthy boy who is incredibly loved."
He and his brother from another mother have found the family they always wanted.
"They only need a little bit of your love to blossom into the beautiful babies they are," Georgina said.
"We're so very lucky to have Toby and Quinton with us."