Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat



Today I have another interview for my series…




 This ladycat has a very famous big brofur…you ALL know him…go on…guess!…write down who you think might have a sisfur with a story???!!

Ok, ok…my guest today is sisfur to my best Canadian furriend Nissy!! Nerissa’s Life is a must read blog so if you haven’t visited yet…scoot over there right after you read all about Nissy’s sisfur…


 October 13th, 2011 011

Purrlease give Tobias our most warm welcome…

APAWS!!!   APAWS!!!   APAWS!!! 

Savannah: Hiya Tobias!  Thanks lots for stopping by and having a nice long meow with me!  Come on over and sit close…(sends some purrs toward Tobias to help her feel more comfy…)

Tobias:  Ummm…Hi.  I’ve never done anything like this before so I’m just a bit nervous.  My brother Nerissa is the blogger in the family.  You know Nissy, right?  He’s a friend of yours, right?

Savannah:  OH My Cat!! Totally one of my furry bestest furriends!! Nissy is pawsome and Ceiling Cat gave him such a gift with the writing!  So Tobias, can you first give me a hint as to how you came by your name?

I mean…ahem…koff, koff…’scuse me…just a little tickle in my throat…hack!  There, OK…so most furriends would think that “Tobias” is a mancat name, but we know you are a ladycat.  So how did that happen?…just curious…

Tobias:  (snicker…snicker!)  Well, you see Savannah; my peeps are pretty lame about being able to tell a girl cat from a boy cat.  If you notice, my brofur Nissy has a girl cat name, right?

Savannah:  hmmmm…why yes…he does…

Tobias:  So it’s like this…I lived in the woods and I was really small.  I never let the peeps get very close.  So over the months and then years before I came inside the house, they never ever saw me preggers with kittens.  So, they assumed I was a boy cat and started to call me Tobias.  I sure surprised them I can meow you about that later though.

Savannah:  Well, your peeps are certainly unique Tobias.  Now, if you don’t mind—would you meow some about how you managed to come to live in your furrever home?

Tobias:  Well, it’s kind of a long story that happened over a long period of time.

I was a truly feral cat.  I had lived outside for ages and ages; really, all my life.  I don’t remember a lot about those days but at some point, I came across this house where some other cats lived.

I didn’t have a lot to do with them except for one named Callista.  I think I knew Kisty back then.  He was feral, too.  He didn’t actually live in the house but he had four younger sibs who did; Nerissa, Desdemona, Beatrice and Constance.  Also living there by this time were his mama Madison and his dad, Jacob.

I started coming around that house more and more often but there were a couple of humans living there and the very idea of humans scared me to no end.  At first, they didn’t know anything about me.  They didn’t even know I existed.  Then, one day, the human, now known as peep #1, spotted me at the edge of the garden.


This peep #1 started putting out little plates of food for me.  That was nice.  It was a whole lot easier than hunting and the food was good, too; really tasty.  But I was still really scared so the peep had to put the food out at a regular time every day so that it was there, waiting for me, when I arrived.  If the food wasn’t already out when I appeared, I would leave and not come back until the next day.  And I certainly wouldn’t come back if I saw a peep lurking about.

Savannah:  Oh Tobias (reaches over to give Tobias a very soft paw pat) I am so sorry to learn you lived outside in such cold and scary conditions.

Tobias:  That’s OK Savannah; I really didn’t know any difference.  This went on for three or four years; I guess…at least it was a really long time.  And here in Canada, the winters are cold but there was no way, no how, that I was gonna let those humans anywhere near me.  My friend Callista started going in the house but he would almost never spend the night and he would absolutely never ever let either of the humans touch him.  And if he wasn’t gonna let them, I sure wasn’t.

In my last summer outside, I started making some headway with peep #1.  I would let her see me.  That was a really big step for me.  I wasn’t going to let her touch me or anything; but she could look at me, if she liked.

I also started to not run away at the sight of her.  I would wait for her to put my food out.  I would come to the veranda and sit on the far side of the little fence.  I learned I could sit there and wait for her to put out the food without being too scared.  Also, I started coming to the house at different times during the day—sometimes even more than once a day.  It was beginning to feel more like home, I guess.

One day that really stands out in the peep’s mind is the day that I first spoke to her.  I meowed to let her know that I was there, waiting for something to eat.  I had never done that before.  I had never ever spoken to any human before that day.  The peep still says that was the moment she knew everything was going to be okay.

Well, another winter arrived and this one was particularly cold.  One Wednesday evening, in early January, the peep was getting ready to go to her caterwauling practice.  She got her coat out of the front hall closet and glanced out the window at the front door.  There I was, coming down the path, toward the door.  The peep immediately put her coat back into the closet so that she could go get me some food and warm milk.

Tobias' Cold World

Tobias’ Cold World

By this time, I was no longer running away at the sight of the peep so she opened the front door to speak to me.  She told me she would be right back with warm food and milk.  I sat there on the cold, hard cement of the veranda, first lifting one paw and then another.  It was so cold.  I thought my paws might freeze and get stuck on the cement.

I looked inside where the peep stood.  It looked so warm in there.  I could almost feel the warmth emanating from the house.  I longed to be enveloped in that warmth.  My paws were hurting from the cold; hurting like they had never hurt before.  They hurt so much (little leaky eye)…ahem…sorry, those were really bad times.

I don’t know what came over me but, at that moment, I stood up and walked toward the front door and much to the shock and disbelief of the peep, I walked right into the house.

Well, that front door slammed shut behind me like no front door had ever slammed before.  The noise brought me to my senses.  I climbed the wall.  Yeah…I do mean “literally”.  I climbed it right up to the ceiling.  Once I was back on the floor again, I raced upstairs and then raced back down.  Then, I found a little cat-sized door that was in a door, and the cat door was open and down into the basement I ran and that’s where I lived for the next few months.

Savannah: Oh noes Tobias!!  (Savvy puts her paw up to cover her mouth open in shock)…how pawful that must have felt!  You must have been terrified!

Tobias:  You are so right Savannah!

During those months, the peep managed to catch me a total of three times.  Each time she did, I would eventually calm down in her arms and even purr but it was all a ruse.  The next time she tried to pick me up, thinking that she had made some headway with me, I would let her know in no uncertain terms that was simply not the case.  There was no way, no how, that she was gonna pick me up again!

Savannah:  ummm…leans over to meow quietly to Tobias…ahhh…you know Tobias; I still don’t let Mom or Dad pick me up.  I don’t scratch or bite if they try, but I struggle so hard they have to let me go…sigh…

So, Tobias, what have been some of the toughest things you had to get past to show your peep #1 your REAL SELF?  You know, when did you first feel you could trust her a bit??

Tobias:  Even though I had allowed the peep to catch me three times, I was not going to become domesticated in any way, shape or form.  I had decided to live out my days in the basement of that house, waiting for the chance to make my escape back outside into the great outdoors.

Well…one day…yowls and howls were heard from the basement.  Yes, I was in heat.  More importantly, I was a girl!  I had known that all along but you know…(rolls eyes) peeps aren’t so smart about such things.

Callista was now coming in the house on a regular basis but the peeps had never been able to touch him; so he had not yet been neutered.  The peeps knew that he and I must never meet but there was a problem.  You see, I’m told that when the peeps first moved into the house, they had a carpenter cut a mouse hole, large enough for a cat, into the bottom of the door leading to the basement.  This was to provide all us cats with easy access to the extra litter boxes and whatnot down there.  Unfortunately, it was also going to provide easy access for Callista to me.

From then on, whenever Kisty was in the house, a big heavy box filled with a couple of big bags of dry cat food was pushed in front of the mouse hole.  But when Kisty wasn’t in the house, the peeps moved the box away because they were trying to encourage me to come upstairs and be more social.  Probably so that they could catch me and take me to the doctor to have me spayed.

One day, one peep thought Callista was out when Callista was actually in.  That’s all it took.  I got preggers.

Savannah:  Mouses! Tobias!  You have had so many very scary things happen to you.  So what happened then?  What did the peeps do to help you??

Tobias:  I have been told that my getting preggers was not part of the plan.  It was never supposed to happen.  It turns out though that getting preggers sort of saved my life.

Quite literally, from that day on, I allowed peep #1 to touch me.  I allowed her to pick me up and cuddle me and give me kisses and tickles and even tummy rubs.  The peep says it must have been hormones or something.  I don’t really know about such things but my attitude towards the peep did do a 360 right there and then.

When the time came, I had one baby.  Aristotle was born right there, on a nice comfy chair.  He was a really big baby.  It was really hard for me to give birth but peep #1 was right there with me, in case I needed to go to the hospital or anything.  She also stopped me from falling off the chair during delivery.  Like I said, it was a tough delivery due to the size of Aristotle.

I think I already mentioned that I’m pretty small.  The peeps say I’m about the size of a six month old cat but I’m far, far older than that.

ivy, rose & cats 032

I still lived in the basement for one more month.  I was ready to move upstairs but the peeps thought it would be best for Ari and me to stay downstairs, away from the other cats.  They didn’t really trust the other cats with a newborn and, to be honest, neither did I.

Savannah:  Meowzers Tobias, you could have fooled me that you are older than maybe like a year or two!  So what happened to Ari?  Meow some of the ways you and peep #1 worked together to help you show more of your REAL SELF and feel like this really was your furrever home?

Tobias:  Peep #1 was a really good babysitter.  I spent most of my hours with Ari but the peep would come downstairs three or four times a day and when she did, I would have a bite to eat and use the litter box and the peep would look after my baby for me.  I let her pick him up and everything.  And he liked the peep, too.  He even started getting up and tottering toward the sound of her voice.

Then one morning, the worst thing imaginable happened.  The peep came downstairs to check on us around six and we were fine.  A few hours later, she came back and Ari couldn’t lift his head.  She bundled us both up in a carrier and I had my first trip to the hospital.  My darling little Aristotle didn’t come home with us.  He died in the hospital in the peep’s arms.  The doctor said there was a problem with fluid and that it was likely congenital.  My peeps now think that there is a possibility that Callista and I might have actually been brother and sister and that could have caused some issues.

Shortly afterwards, I went back to the hospital to be spayed and get my shots and all that stuff.  Once home, I left the basement behind me and began my new life as an upstairs cat.  The days of the basement are now just a distant memory.

Savannah:  What a hard start you had Tobias! Getting to be an inside cat wasn’t easy for you.  I know you have been with the peeps a long time now.  But can you give us some meows about the things you think you have managed to put behind you besides living in the basement?

Tobias:  I’m really good with my two peeps.  I cuddle with both of them now and it turns out that I love tummy tickles and ear scritches and all that stuff.  I’m good with my doctors, too.  I believe I have heard the word “perfect” used when talking about me.

bloom day March 167

But I don’t like strangers.  And pretty much any human other than my peeps or my doctors are strangers.  There are people who come to my house on a fairly regular basis whom I still do not trust.  And truth be told, at the doctors, I put on an act.  I don’t really trust them.  Really, I just trust my two peeps.

I like the other cats a lot.  Rushton sometimes scares me a little because he’s so big and I’m so small.  I mean…I’m only a third of his size, you know.  I love my Nissy and he sometimes licks the top of my head for me and there’s nothing in the world that makes me happier.

Tobias Snuggling with Nissy

Tobias Snuggling with Nissy

I’ve convinced Jacob to lick the top of my head, too, and that’s nice as well.  Of course, Nissy is my favorite.  We’re not boyfriend and girlfriend or anything though.  We’re brother and sister.  And actually, if the peeps are right about Callista and I being litter mates, then Nissy would be my younger brother…with the same mama and dad and everything.

Nissy is going to be ten-years-old this April.  Callista would have been a year older.  So even though I look like a six-month-old kitten, I could actually be almost eleven years old.  Hard to believe but it is possible.  Truth is, no one knows for sure.

Savannah:  Oh Cat! Tobias I would never ever have thought you were as old as you think!  So just one more question; do you have any advice to our readers to help them support their adult rescue cat, or one they may be thinkin’ about bringing into their home?  You know, any tips on how to help the new adult rescue show its REAL SELF?

Tobias' Advice

Tobias’ Advice

Tobias:  Patience is of the utmost importance; patience on the part of the peeps.  The peeps gave me lots and lots of time to get used to them when I was still living outdoors and that was good.

Fancy Feast also helps; nothing wrong with a little bribery.  In fact, a little bribery goes a very long way.

I know there are probably some peeps out there wondering why my peeps didn’t just set a live trap to catch me during those first few years.  Well; they just didn’t think that was the route to take.  Odds are the trap would have caught one of the cats already living in the house ‘cause we’re all allowed outside in the garden, you know.  I assure you, the moment I saw that happening to another cat, I would have been off like a bat out of hell.  They would never have seen me again.  Never, ever, ever!  Live trapping works well in lots of situations but in my case, it just wasn’t the answer.  Patience and love did the trick—patience, love and Fancy Feast.  And now, honestly…when I’m with my own two peeps, you’d never in a million years think I had ever been born feral.  Never ever ever!  But I was.

Savannah:  You are so right! I would not have thought that at all Tobias.  I have so enjoyed meowing with you.  This was great!  Any last thought or words of wisdom you want to share?

Tobias:  Just that I think it’s kind of neat that peep #1 gave me the name Tobias.  I know…I’m a girl kitty with a boys’ name and that can be kind of confusing but…it turns out that Tobias means “God is good.”  The peep didn’t know that when she named me.  And although I had a rough start to life, it turns out that God was very, very good to me.  He helped me find this house with these peeps and now I have a home and a family and I’ll never be cold or go hungry again.

Savannah:  PURRfect ending Tobias! High Paw Pats!! (whap, whap…)

Tobias:  Right back to you Savannah…(whap, whap…)…have to dash…almost dinner time…Ok if I use your Fast Leopard Teleport Tunnel so I don’t miss dinner???  (runs over to the tunnel…WHOOSH!!)

Well, I hope you all enjoyed reading about Nissy’s sisfur.  I think she is pretty special.

Paw Pats, Savannah

peeEss:   Now, please keep those purrrsss going strong for The Royals…they had their vet check last night and are now one day closer to being broken out of jail!

OH CAT!! My good furriend Dinah, she is one of the RWB (Readers Without Blogs)  members…I posted her photo a while back…click here to see her…well she had her housekeeper stop by and drop off some of her treat money…to use for The Royals Rescue…Dinah gave us a whole hunnert greenies of her very own treat money…Pawsome!!  So many paws and hands helping to get Emily, Brutus and Marigold to their new furrever homes.  Power to the Paws!!

Update, Emily Brutus Marigold

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  1. Bery leaky eyez here when we read Tobias’ story…she had it even worser den me!!!! Fankz CATGOD fer brining her n her siblingz to der furever home!!!!
    BBRRR can’t imagine (VBP) bein out in da cold winter…..
    Lub Nylablue n her Mum xo

    • I can’t either Nylablue. And she stayed out in the woods for like a few years before she walked into the house

      • Sumtimez it iz just eazier to stay out in da cold & snow or rain den trust a Hu’Man. Az you know Hu’manz are either BERY guud or bERY bad when it comez to us 4 leggedz!! Tobias waz waitin to make shure she wuud be safe…..pawsum little girl dat she iz!!!!! ❤

  2. Chancy the Gardener on said:

    Another amazing interview sweet Savannah. We enjoyed reading about sweet Tobias so much and we are so very happy for the happy ending. Great feral rescue story!! Hugs and nose kisses

  3. Apaws , Apaws Savannah !
    What a pawsome interview you made with Tobias !

  4. Awwww sweet Tobias! What an early life she had! I’m glad she found Nerissa’s (and now hers!) family. That was a very moving interview.

  5. wonderful story and a happy ending too!

  6. Such an amazing story and we were in tears a few times. You rock Tobias!

  7. Susan Mullen on said:

    Savannah, thank you so much for letting Tobias tell us her story. Your interview skills are awesome! I always learn something, and I am always in awe of the very moving stories.

  8. catfromhell on said:

    What a excellent interview with Tobias! She is quite the cat! Thanks yous guys for sharing Tobias’ story. Yes, patience with us cats is the best.


  9. That was a great interview Savannah. We enjoyed it very much.

  10. What a lovely kitty Tobias is! I’m glad she decided to go into the warm house.

  11. da tabbies o trout towne on said:

    awesum inter viewz savannah N tobias !!!!! awesum 🙂 N veree nice two meet ewe tobias !!! sorree ya had a reeeely reeeely crappee start ta life but WAY happee ya haz yur awesum forever home now….

  12. What an awesome interview! Tobias had such a hard life… thanks for letting her share her story with us.

  13. spittythekitty on said:

    The story about Aristotle made us a little leaky, but in a Great and Mysterious way it was Aristotle’s purpose in this life to bring you and your Human together. He’ll be waiting patiently at the Bridge for you, sweet Tobias.

    We loved your story! Also, so happy to hear everything’s on track with Operation Royal!

    • oh Spitty, we were leaky eyes here too over Ari, but his purpose was for Tobias to learn to trust completely peep #1. And the Bridge will be even that much more special when Tobias has to make that journey as we all must. And yes, Mom Linda just sent off the Fed Ex with all the fees to break out The Royals.

  14. Boy, whatta story! So happy Tobias is now warm and safe. I’m a bestie to Nerissa and I know he has a great family. You do a wonderpurr intermew, Savannah. High paws! Stop by my bloggy sometime and kick da litter wif me! Warm purrs! Herman

  15. Wowzer Meowzer what an interview. Very interesting. I was a feral kitten and it was a tough go to move in with a hooman. It really does make me feel a part of the wider world of cats and rescue to read their stories.
    Keep em coming Savannah

  16. orientallily001 on said:

    Oh Savvy… Tobias is so pleased. So very, VERY pleased with the interview. Thank you so much for doin’ this for her. For helpin’ her get her story out and all. She’ll be wantin’ her own blog, now that she has had a taste of the celebrity. MOUSES! I’m gonna have competition for the computer!


  17. Great interview as ever and lovely to meet another moggie xxx

  18. We like reading Nerissa’s bloggie, and we love your interviews, Savannah 🙂 Thank you, Tobias for sharing with us. You has an amazing story!

  19. Katie Isabella on said:

    I read every wprd and Tobias, if I were there I would wash the top of your head any time. Loves and snuggles to you. I have a pink Transport Tunnel. I will come and see you and show you the portal so YOU can use it to come and see me too.

  20. Oh we loved hearing Tobias’ story of “feral to forever home”. Nissy’s blog is one of our very favorites – we love hearing about all the cats’ adventures. Being a former feral cat is tough……I know since I was a feral kitten when I was adopted. But once we learn (like Tobias and many of her sisters and brothers) that there are some humans who we can trust and love, there’s no stopping us!

    Great interview Savvy…….and Tobias!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  21. Oh Tobias, the cold….Duncan cried when he remembered the cold,Heathcliff nodded his head when you said you climbed the walls, and we all purred LOUDLY at your very happy ending. Brothers and sisters really help in recovery don’t they…and love , and patience from our peeps.
    You were very brave telling your story ,but you know…it’s going to help other kitties and peeps all over the world, and that is BRILLIANT!!!
    Thanks,Savvy for another great interview!
    The REAL Maple Syrup Mob

  22. *tears* poor sweet Tobias. Oh savvy thank you for sharing. I love happy endings. What wonderfully patient peeps to wait and wait for Tobias to come around.

  23. mistletoeandhitch on said:

    Hi Savannah! We really enjoyed your interview with Tobias. What a smart, sweet kitty. We enjoy reading Nerissa’s blog, too. We’ve noticed that the common denominator in all your Rescue Interviews is patience, that, and love, are always key. We hope anyone intimidated by the idea of adding an adult rescue realizes that they don’t need any special knowledge or skills, just love and patience are what it takes to turn a struggle to get by into a wonderful life full of catnip and fancy feast. Thanks for all the work you do, bringing us these wonderful stories.
    Mistletoe & Hitch

    PeeSsss, Hitch told me how you couldn’t get you blog published yesterday. Internet problems are so annoying. I’m glad to see everything’s back to normal.
    Gentle Head Bonk,

  24. What a wonderful interview! Tobias is an amazing cat. Purrrrrrrr…..

  25. Awww sweetie – that was a great interview. Nissy is a good friend too, so it was interesting to ready how she was tamed!

  26. This is a great story. Savvy you do purrfect interviews and Tobias rivals her brofur Nissy in the writing stakes! 😉 Thank you for the fascinating insight into your life Tobias xx

  27. I feel so sorry for Aristotle – how sad. Thanks Savannah for this great interview – it’s so hard to live outside in a cold winter…I’m so glad Tobias found a furrever home. And I like the name thingy – that makes her and Nerissa so special ;o)

  28. Another fab interview Savvy! Really shows that patience and love really do pay off.

  29. Tobias, that was SOME story! WOW! You are one brave, tough kitty, with luck on your side. Great interview Savannah. I laughed, I cried, I gasped, shook my head… Whew. I love a happy ending!!

    Love and lots of licks,

  30. What a story! Felt so incredibly sorry for poor Tobias, out in the freezing cold but how wonderful that Peep 1 just kept on and on trying and being patient.

  31. Another fab interview!

  32. hey savannah long time no talk, hope everything is good with you?

  33. How inspiring!!!!

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