You may recognise this very special cream torti. When Toffee came into our care in February, the tiny kitten’s eyes were completely filled with discharge – and it became clear she was suffering a severe case of untreated cat flu.
At just five weeks old, the extent of poor Toffee’s cat flu had made her almost entirely blind.
As Toffee grew, our veterinary team became worried about her wellbeing and it was looking like the darling girl would need both eyes removed.
But, an outpouring of public support for Toffee’s story meant she would soon end up with all the love and support she could ever need as a special needs kitty.
Toffee’s story touches the hearts of animal lovers across SA
With vision impairment and chronic cat flu, the first step for Toffee was specialist and lengthy foster care.
The sweet little kitten went under the watchful eye of experienced RSPCA foster carer and vet nurse Emily, where she was given medicated eye drops and antibiotics daily (and of course, a lot of TLC). But her condition meant she would need ongoing support.
We were committed to doing all we could to help Toffee, so we reached out for help to cover the costs of her treatment. We were simply blown away.
It was this far reaching support, and widespread willingness to help Toffee, that made what happened next possible.
‘I just fell in love straight away – and I knew I would be able to take care of her’
After a few more weeks of TLC and daily eye drops and medication from Emily, Toffee visited the eye specialist. We learnt that her eyes would sadly never improve, but eye removal wasn’t deemed necessary either.
As long as Toffee’s eyes were causing her no pain, and she still had some level of vision in left eye, all she needed was someone who was able to provide her with the love and attention she needed for the rest of her life.
That’s where Zoe came in.
“When I saw that first picture of Toffee on her fundraiser, my heart broke in half,” Zoe says.
“But I could tell what a sweet, loving, and cheeky kitty she would be. I just fell in love straight away and knew I’d be able to take care of her.”
It seems Zoe had a strong intuition – she tells us she’s always just “been able to tell” when a cat is meant to live with her. Before she even met her, that’s exactly how she felt about Toffee.
When the day came for Zoe and her girlfriend to bring Toffee home, she says it felt surreal.
“It was incredible. I couldn’t believe that she was really mine and that she was finally home with me. I honestly still feel like that. I cried a little.”
Forever smothered with love, Toffee now spends her days cuddling toys, chewing her mum’s earrings and playing in boxes
Having cared for Toffee for three months and watched her grow, all of us at RSPCA think she couldn’t have found a more perfect home.
According to Zoe, her little special needs cat has a vey fun and relaxed life, having already claimed run of the house.
“My girlfriend and I say that it’s Toffee’s world, and we’re just living in it,” she laughs.
While Toffee’s nights are spent sleeping on Zoe’s bed, her days are spent carrying around her favourite toy lion, playing in boxes and being cheeky – she loves to chew her mum’s hair and earrings!
And when she’s not doing that? Toffee’s likely helping mum work by sitting on her desk, or just her lap while she’s working.
You can keep up with more of Toffee’s escapades by following her very own Instagram handle @toffeetheblindkitty. (We must warn you: this is very wholesome content.)
Toffee’s vision impairment also means it’s super important for her trips outside to only be supervised, but luckily the clever kitty is great on a harness and can explore the great outdoors safely and in style.
“I’m impressed by what a quick learner she is,” Zoe says.
Despite her compromised vision and frequent cat flu flare ups, we’re told that Toffee totally takes it in her stride.
“She doesn’t even mind when I have to clean her kitty boogers,” laughs Zoe.
Now that’s one brave kitty.
‘I’m so happy I can share Toffee’s story, and hopefully inspire someone else to open their home to an animal in need’
At the end of the day, it’s only thanks to our kindhearted supporters, and compassionate animal lovers like Zoe, that special needs animals like Toffee are able to live such wonderful lives.
“She’s honestly made my life so much more fulfilled. She is genuinely the most incredible cat and for me it feels like she’s always been here. I think she feels the same,” Zoe shares.
“I’m so happy I can share Toffee’s story, and hopefully inspire someone else to open their home to an animal in need.”
Thank you, Zoe, and thank you to all our supporters.
From the bottom of our hearts, we’re so grateful to all our supporters who made Toffee’s new life with Zoe a reality. If you’d like to continue helping animals just like Toffee, head over here to see our current emergency appeals.