Happy Tails: Phoebe

Phoebe the cat wasn’t exactly heaven-sent but the forces of good clearly conspired to place her in the path of grateful forever mom Cherith Muir.

As Muir explains, her long-time buddy Byron the cat passed away last fall at age 16. Heartbroken, Muir needed some time to mend. Having had a positive experience adopting through Annex Cat Rescue – where she found Byron as a kitten – she decided to return in search of another feline companion.

This past January, Muir met Phoebe, then called Rice and staying with foster mom Liz Cabral. “At first I was thinking of a kitten but I talked to my vet and was encouraged to think about an older cat, especially since this is a single-cat household,” Muir says.

Though Phoebe is about age five, both Muir and Cabral report that she is extremely playful. “She loves to chat, cuddle, give head-butts,” laughs Cabral, who took the cat in from her nephew. “He loved her but realized that his job, which took him away for three to five 5 days at a time,” made domestic life untenable for the highly social and socialized cat.

The nephew’s loss was Muir’s gain. “I love talkative cats and Phoebe is extremely talkative, always communicating with me, which was something I noticed when I went to visit her at her foster home. She was chatty with Liz.

“I was also very impressed with how affectionate she was. She had obviously formed a good attachment with her foster which augured well for becoming attached to me. So that combined with her big blue eyes, which are very unusual in a cat that’s not Siamese, sealed the deal.”

These days, when not chasing toys, Phoebe can be found standing outside the shower waiting for Muir to finish bathing. “Strange but very cute,” Muir laughs. As for changing her name from Rice to Phoebe, Muir explains, “I noticed her foster was calling her Rice-ee and I wondered if she would adapt to other names with a similar sound.

“I thought Phoebe was very melodious and when I started calling her that, she almost immediately responded. She had been in at least two homes prior, and I wondered if maybe that was her secret cat name,” she chuckles. “Her ears would twitch when I called her Phoebe.

“I’ve had a lot of cats in my life. Most cats put into a new situation will go and hide for a while. When Phoebe first came home with me, she disappeared under my bed but only for about half-an-hour. And I didn’t do anything to coax her out; I let her decide when to show herself. She is very inquisitive. And things have worked out very well.”


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