I am sure you have all heard of love at first sight, but what about love at first meow? Well, let me tell you there is such a thing and that is how I fell in love with Phoebe. She had and still has the sweetest crackling purr that I had to have her. If only it were that simple.

It was a regular Monday in March of 2003 when my friend called me to see if I could help her find homes for two cats. Her friend was moving that day and thought if she left them on the highway someone would find them and take them in (yes, I know the woman was an idiot). Luckily, my friend is an animal lover and stepped in. We both started making calls to all the area shelters which were full. Is there ever a time that a shelter is not full?

The male cat turned out to be a simple solution. He was adopted from a shelter that takes returns anytime no questions asked. I felt bad that he had to go back and wait for a new home, but at least he was safe.

Phoebe had not come from a shelter. The woman that owned her had adopted her as a kitten the year before when she was born outside where the woman worked. Of course she never got her fixed so poor Phoebe was not even one yet and was expecting kittens of her own.

We finally found a shelter about an hour and a half away that would put her in a foster home and eventually place all her kittens and her. I took the ride with my friend and Phoebe even though it meant having to call in sick to my volunteer job as a CCD teacher. I had never taken a day off from that, but for some reason, I just felt the need to accompany my friend on the ride. Phoebe kept mewing and sounded so sad that I ended up putting her carrier on my lap and she started purring. That was all it took, I knew I had to have her.

I knew it was going to be difficult to convince my husband to let me adopt another cat, but it would be impossible to get him to allow me to take in one that was expecting. I had no choice when we arrived, but to allow her to go to with the woman from the shelter. I explained my dilemma to her and we exchanged emails and phone numbers.

Over the next couple months, we kept in touch. Phoebe had her kittens, 4 of them and 2 died. She was an excellent Mom to the 2 that survived and was heartbroken when they were old enough to be taken away. She kept looking for them and mewing, so she was moved to a different foster home until she could be spayed.

Phoebe and StinkyLuckily, by the time she was spayed, it was July - my birthday month. I have gotten more cats into the house in that month than any other time of year. I had been begging my husband to let me get Phoebe the entire time and he finally gave in when I requested her for my birthday. He was still grumpy about it, but he approved.

I know you are probably thinking it is odd that I need my husband’s “permission” to get a cat. It does sound more like a parent/child relationship, but at the time, I probably didn’t really need another cat. My teenage niece lived with us, we had three other cats and several rabbits, plus I was working several hours as a tutor. I could understand his frustration with what we already had to care for, but I just couldn’t give up on Phoebe.

Phoebe and SnowballEven now with 15 cats, Phoebe is one of my husband’s favorites (and of course mine too). I love all my kitties, but just like with people, some have that certain something and Phoebe has it all. She is an absolute sweetheart that gets along with all the other kitties. We call her “Miss Congeniality” because she always welcomes the newcomers into the family.

She is a lot of fun and likes to play, but she can be naughty too. Sometimes she gets a little rough when “boxing” with Prancie. For some reason those 2 like to box to get our attention so we will feed them a snack. I just say her blood sugar is off so she is grumpy.

We call her Phoebe the fibber because she will get me to distribute snacks and then if my husband comes in 5 minutes later, she will act as if she hasn’t eaten all day and meow for a snack until he gives her one too.

Phoebe is also great at posing for photos and now “writes” blog posts twice a week for 15andmeowing. She has made quite a few friends and even has a “purrince charming” of her own, he lives in Canada.

She has even started something called “The Kittyhood of the Travelling Bikini” where she mailed her yellow polka dot bikini to another kitty to take photos then they mail it to the next person.

I can’t imagine life without Phoebe and I am so glad I took the ride with her that day. I am also glad that I wouldn’t take no for an answer and kept harassing my husband until he agreed to let me adopt Phoebe - and he is too.

Ellen’s blog: 15andmeowing can be found on this link

The Very Best Toy for Cats

"Of all the [cat] toys available, none is better designed than the owner himself. A large multipurpose plaything, its parts can be made to move in almost any direction. It comes completely assembled, and it makes a noise when you jump on it."

Stephen Baker