|IW SGM Toby of Rags2Riches
|On November 4, 2004 Rags2Riches Sasha, co-owned by Michael Hilton and Scottie Cone, had a litter by TGC Chatandolls
Jacques of Rags2Riches. A beautiful litter of 5 and Michael was so excited. This was his first litter! At two weeks of
age Michael called Scottie and said that one of the kitten's eyes had not opened. Scottie went over and noticed something
was wrong. The next day called for a trip to the vet and then a call to the specialist was made. This beautiful seal mitted
baby was blind. His eyes had not opened because there were no eyes behind the lids to make them open.
The decision was made to start taking him everywhere possible so that he would not become too sheltered or become
frightened of everything. Toby went to Petsmart, the dentist office, even the allergy doctors office, the hairdressers, the
bank, a New Years Eve Party, friends houses and just everywhere that he was allowed to go. He was never frightened,
purred constantly and strange places seemed to excite him rather than make him nervous. He was immediately the Mascot
at work and went a couple days a week along with his Mom and siblings. His Mom had been pretty much a regular at work
on Fridays anyway because at 2 weeks of age she had become ill with a URI and couldn't breathe to nurse or take a
bottle. Therefore, she was spoon-fed solid food every few hours. She had to be at the office with Scottie everyday for
6 weeks. With a lot of help from Michael, who works at the same office, Sasha did quite well and soon became very
attached to Michael. While spending time with both she soon made her home with Michael as she totally adored him.
Naturally everyone in the office had become attached to her and Sasha had to return often so everyone could watch her
grow. It was Toby's turn now.
When it came time to eat and use the litter box, Toby was first. He evidently could smell everything better than the
others could and so he excelled in those areas. Michael took his antique bed apart and put the box springs and mattress on
the floor so that Toby could sleep with him and he would not worry about his falling off and hurting himself. We do not
understand but Toby does not run into walls. Some say there is an echo coming off of walls that he hears. He will step on
things or maybe bump into a chair leg but he takes it in stride and it never seems to bother him. He loves to climb and at a
very early age you would find him on the dining room table. To get down he would reach out with his paw to find a chair
pushed up close to the table. When he could feel the back of the chair he knew there was a seat under it and would hop
onto the seat and then down to the floor. Michael even had to move the bar stools away from the counter because Toby
would find a way to climb up onto the counter. Toby is a very smart little guy and his other senses are much more acute
since he is blind.
Then came the cat shows and he started going there as a companion. A few of the judges wanted to know why he was not
being shown since he was so well adjusted. That was all it took and he immediately went to shows in Delaware OH, Atlanta
GA and Oklahoma City OK. Toby made it to 9th Best Household Pet Kitten, SE region in those three shows. Due to his
blindness he has to show as a household pet. When it comes to bath time you can find Toby falling asleep under the warm
water. In fact, he can up and fall asleep just about anywhere, anytime. The dryer is a different situation and he's not too
happy at that time. The trip to OK was his first plane ride and we were very concerned about the takeoff. He never even
tensed up! Car rides are wonderful if a window is cracked and he can stick his nose in the rushing air. Sounds like a dog to
Toby is quite adventurous. He checks out everything when in a new location, jumping up on couches, chairs, finding things
to play with and can't wait to climb up a set of stairs. He loves jumping into bathtubs and playing with the shower curtain.
Motel rooms are great and his favorite thing to do is to run along the edge of the bed behind the bedspread hanging over
the side. He can hear toys being moved in front of him and springs on them from behind the bedspread. He will chase
other cats and kittens, as he knows that as long as they are running; there isn't anything in front of him to run into. He
will catch the others and do some kitty wrestling.
July 4th 2005 Toby becomes an adult in the cat world and will start his Household Pet Show Career. We don't know how
his show career will go but we do know that Toby will have fun. He loves the attention.
September 29, 2005
Toby's adult Household Pet show career has really taken off. He has been to Milwaukee, WI; Timonium, MD; Jackson,
MS; Chicago, IL; Columbia, SC; Syracuse, NY; Tucson, AZ and Toledo, OH. He is presently the 8th Best Household Pet
Cat in TICA Internationally.
We are so proud of him and he truly loves the shows. If we spend a night in the hotel, then the next morning, after his
combing and show prep, he will go sit in
his carrier waiting to go downstairs to the show. He is calm, cool and collected on the judges table and according to them
he is purring loudly. Sometimes he will play with the judges while on the table but many times he will not. Judges look
for personality a lot so sometimes it hurts him if he just wants to sit there and look pretty.
We are hoping to keep him in the top 20 Internationally so that he receives an International Award but the season does
not end until April 30, 2006. A lot can happen during the next several months. His upcoming shows for the rest of this
year are in Sacramento, CA; Green Cove, FL; Lancaster, PA, Houston, TX and Raleigh, NC.
July 4, 2006
Sorry this update has been sooooooooo late in coming but Toby has kept us busy. The end of last year was a whirlwind but
the first quarter of this year has been a rollercoaster. Toby kept going up up up in the ranks and the judges were really
enjoying him more and more. They were still in awe that this cat was enjoying the shows so much. He still purrs in the
judges arms. One judge turned him upside down to show the audience how relaxed he remained. It just seemed that
nothing bothered him and he totally trusted anything anyone did with him. He would start purring if you spoke to him.
I have a few precious stories to tell but first let me say that after the end of 2005, his 2006 shows were Sacramento,
CA; Nashua, NH; Brenham, TX; Wyomissing, PA; Toledo, OH; Raleigh, NC; Streamwood, IL; Bessemer, AL; Edmonton
Canada; Allentown, PA; Sacramento, CA; Austin, TX; Fort Walton Beach, FL; Bradley, IL; Laurel, MD and Ansonia, CT.
Michael and I are absolutely broke but we are having so much fun with Toby and every day with this boy is a blessing.
He's so amazing.
Toby seems to thrive on the attention he gets and would still purr for the judges at the last show. His winnings, well to be
Best Household Pet in the Southeast Region is wonderful but it was beyond our wildest imagination to see him gain the
title of 3rd Best International Household Pet with The International Cat Association (TICA).
Is Toby still showing? Yes, but it will not be near as much. We do want him to have another Regional win (RW) this season
as that will give him his LA which is Lifetime Achiever Award. Then he will go from time to time and maybe obtain some
regional win each year. It is time for others though to win the top spots.
In Toledo, Ohio this past spring there was an animal psychic that came to the show. She of course did not know Toby or
anything about him. I asked her to come read Toby. He was sleeping in his cage and had his back to her. She asked if she
could take him out and I said later, but for now to try and read him while he sleeps. (I did not want her to notice that he
was blind). She was quiet for a minute and then asked me what was wrong with his eyes. I asked why and she said because
he was telling her that he saw things the way she did and not like a normal cat. I was shocked and then told her he was
blind. She then took him out and held him.
She then said that he told her he wanted his two foods. I told her he had several foods at home - probably five different
kinds. Michael has 6 cats and feeds a variety of foods. She said no, he wants HIS two foods. I said, well tell him to just
eat the two he wants and leave the other foods for the other cats. He still wanted HIS two foods and she and I could not
understand so we went on to something else.
Toby's eyes will drain through a small crack even though they are 99% closed and we have to clean them often. At two
weeks of age when we tried to open his eyes, it left a tiny crack in the corner of the eyes. Toby told the psychic that he
loves me even though he does not act like it at times. I am always trying to clean his eyes and I think it just makes him
mad. He will fuss with me sometimes or not want me to hold him if I am in a mood to mess with his eyes. His daddy will
leave his eyes alone except when they have to be cleaned. Well Toby told the psychic that when his eyes have to be
cleaned for the shows that he is very patient with having them cleaned. I then realized that this was very true. He was
patient with the eye cleaning before going into the judge's rings and always in the mornings before the show when his eyes
are cleaned thoroughly. I sure learned something. He also wanted to know how long he would continue going to the shows
"all the time". I said two more months and then he wanted to know if he could still come to the shows even if he didn't see
the judges. Now how could that psychic know that Toby showed all the time? As far as she knew that could have been his
A few more things were said and then the psychic started laughing and asked if we had put Toby in a Halloween costume.
I asked her how she knew that and she said he told her we did and that he liked it because he got a lot of attention and
that he wanted to do it again.That really freaked me out as we had gotten him a "Baby's First Halloween" costume and he
had worn it to about three shows and even to one Cat Halloween Costume Contest in Sacramento. Sacramento had another
costume contest this past spring and we dressed Toby up as Elvis and he won 2nd place. Marilyn Monroe won first. We
will let him have another costume this Halloween.
This psychic really made a believer out of me and I can't wait to do it again. Later that night I called Toby's daddy and
told him about it. The two foods? Well, it turns out that Michael used to give Toby can food mixed in with the dry food
and Toby liked that. However, Toby was gaining weight and so Michael had quit giving it to him and he was only getting
dry food. Well, Toby now gets some of HIS Two Foods again.
|Sacramento, Ca April 2006
Costume Contest and Toby was
dressed as Elvis. Won 2nd place.
|LOVE IS BLIND