|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
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
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). We took him to the International Awards Show in Hanover, Germany and he was such a
hit. Everyone knew who he was and he loved the attention. Of course he flew in the cabin with us as we
would never let him fly in cargo.
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.
THE PSYCHIC READING: 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.
At two weeks of age when we tried to open his eyes, it left a tiny crack in the corner of the eyes so they will
drain some even though they are 99% closed. The physic told me that Toby said he loved me but that many
times he gets mad because I clean his eyes too much. Toby told the psychic that when his eyes have to be
cleaned for the shows that he is very patient with having Michael clean them. I then realized that this was
very true. 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 first show. The physic asked me if we dressed him up in costumes and I said yes that he had
been in a few costume contests. She said he was telling her that he liked it and the attention he got.
Well when I got back to the hotel room I called Michael and told him what the psyhic said. It turns out that
Michael used to mix dry food and can food together for Toby but had quit doing that about a month ago.
Well now he gets HIS two foods again.
|Sacramento, Ca April 2006
Costume Contest and Toby was
dressed as Elvis. Won 2nd place.
|LOVE IS BLIND