Toot.Cat has been online since 2017-03-05.
It was founded by @polymerwitch and administrated by @cyrinsong and @wavebeem, with moderation help from @ashkitten. In May, they created their own fork of Mastodon 1.4.1, mainly to improve the layout somewhat and create a special English variant called "Catspeak" (code: en-TC) which replaced "boost" (reblog), "favorite", and "mention" with "bap", "boop", and "meow at".
The team soon found itself overwhelmed with IRL responsibilities, however, and site maintenance declined. This started to become a problem when Mastodon 2.0 was released and Toot.Cat (which was still running 1.x) could no longer DM (direct message) most other instances; it finally became critical on approximately December 30, when the SSL certificate failed to auto-renew and the site became unreachable for most users.
I (woozle) then offered to help with admin duties, to which @polymerwitch responded enthusiastically that she'd be happy to just have someone take over hosting and administration completely.
The transfer took place in early January, 2018. I requested the aid of @email@example.com in doing the upgrade to the then-current Mastodon version, as well as fixing the SSL issue, both of which she accomplished smoothly and quickly.
- toot.cat: Mastodon entry page
- 2017-06-21 Federating With The Trouble - Running Decentralized Communities "As moderators and admins of a mastodon/gnu social instance called Toot.Cat we were quickly propelled into navigating the strange new world of decentralized community stewardship." at Open Source Bridge (in Portland, OR), 2017 edition (#osb17)