Cat: Tobey – Norwegian Forest (Toronto, Ontario – Canada)
(1995 to August 30, 2014)
When I first met Tobey it was at a mall. She was a frightened little cat, brought there by her previous guardian who was trying to find her a new home. At the time I was 19 and living alone, and when she came by the store I worked at, the older women I worked with suggested I take her home. I too, was scared.
While I had a family cat before, I had never taken care of a pet all by myself – and wasn’t sure I could be responsible for another life, especially since I was just figuring out my own. But I took her home anyway.
From what I was told by the family who had her before, she had been living with her brother, but the couple had a young child and was expecting another one very soon – it was too much for them. It sounded like they had inherited her from another person before that too, so Tobey (like myself), did not have a history of stability.
The one thing I will always remember her previous guardian saying is “this cat will make you happy.” I had no idea at the time how true those words would be.
That very first day in my tiny bachelor apartment, she sat there so timid, afraid to come close. We looked at each other a long while. We understood it would take time.
That was 15 years ago. From that moment on, I became Tobey’s guardian, and she became mine. Learning to love and take care of her not only made me a better person to others, but also to myself. She was there through all of the major life changes – moving cities, graduation, falling in love, starting a career, breaking up, moving again, changing jobs, finding love again, etc.
Through the happiest times, and the worst, she loved me unconditionally. She was a constant source of comfort and reassurance that everything would somehow work out, because she loved me. She was the peace.
Every place we lived together, she made a home. She would meow when I’d walk through the door. She always found the coziest spots to curl up head to tail (usually on a blanket her fur would blend into). And when you were in your cozy spot, that’s when she would come in for a snuggle – starting with a gentle test nudge, followed by a leap of faith.
Over the years she earned many nicknames – Tobes, Toblerone, and my personal favourite, Tobi-Wan Kenobi. Affectionately referred to as my fur baby, she was adored by all those who met her. She could even sway those with allergies to give her some love and attention.
While she was small (weighing in at about 5 lbs), she was tough. I once saw her eat a mouse in front of me – whole. She was spry even in her older years and sustained many physical ailments for a long time – skin cancer, heart problems, kidney disease. Sadly, she was not indestructible. The vet told me she probably hid her pain for a long time.
At the very end, she was in full kidney failure, and could no longer walk. She stopped eating and drinking. And after holding her close all night this past Friday, my beloved little Tobey eventually succumbed to her failing body Saturday morning.
My wish for her is that, no matter how her life started, in the end she knew how much she was loved and wanted. And always will be.
Tobey, you will be deeply missed. xo