Following rejection, Toby the cat feels right at home with Raleigh family

Posted April 24, 2018 6:02 p.m. EDT
Updated July 13, 2018 11:12 a.m. EDT

— A persistent cat who wanted to return to a loving home even after his owners gave him away has found a new family.

Toby the cat feels right a home with the Puckett family in North Raleigh.

“He’s just mellow and loving. He sleeps with us, he cuddles, he purrs. He’s just been great,” Michele Puckett said.

Toby’s life before coming to the Pucketts wasn’t so great. His original owners gave him away and he walked 12 miles to return to their home.

“I’ve heard of a dog here and there maybe doing that, but I’ve never heard of a cat,” Puckett said.

Toby and new owner

When he returned home though, Puckett said Toby’s original family took him to a shelter and asked that he be put down.

That shelter contacted the Wake SPCA, who took the cat in and cared for him for two months. National animal rights activist Beth Stern posted Toby’s photo and story on Instagram, and the story has since gone viral.

“My sister saw his post in New Hampshire and sent it to me. All of us sisters were messaging about the cat. Within a half hour, I was on my way to the SPCA, adopting this cat,” Puckett said.

After just a week and a half in the home, Toby is part of the family. The Puckett kids love him and so does the rest of the world. Toby’s Instagram has 32,000 followers, but Puckett is not surprised by his soaring popularity.

“Just seeing how loving he is, he’s social, he entered here like he’s always been here. He’s not like a ‘scardey cat’ or violent, just a very sweet cat,” she said.

The family says Toby’s story is proof that every pet deserves a home.

To give back to the SPCA, the family has started Team Toby for the group’s annual walk-a-thon and has already raised more than $3,000. The event will take place Sunday, May 6 at the Koka Booth Amphitheater in Cary.