The One Where Phoebe Moved Out

It’s been a while since I’ve updated anything about Phoebe. Can you believe it’s been about two years since she was very sick and was diagnosed with kidney disease? She had lost less than five pounds and, although she had always been thin, she looked dead. I said goodbye to her, convinced that she would not return with me from the vet.

Phoebe is now 16 years old and probably in the ninth of nine lives. Even when we adopted her, she had already been shot with a BB gun and some type of trauma had caused her to lose half of her tail. There was one time she was locked in my neighbor’s shed for four days straight without food or water. And a time when she somehow received a puncture wound in her back, which she became infected, resulting in surgery. Has been through a lot!

When Noah decided to move into an apartment, he said he wished he could take Phoebe and Estelle with him. Phoebe has always been “his” cat to him; He has a strong bond with her.

Noah and Phoebe in 2009, the day we brought Phoebe home.

I was about to dismiss the idea, but then I started thinking about it. Phoebe has made it clear that she would prefer to be her only pet. She gets along well with Joey, but she hates the other cats. Chick and Duck torment her (they’re just trying to play with her, but she doesn’t want anything to do with them).

The only cat he gets along with is Chandler. But of course, *everyone* loved Chandler.

Because Phoebe was old, slow, and one-third the size of the kittens, she constantly had to separate the cats to accommodate Phoebe. I feel very protective of her, even though she is a spittle and has shown that she can take care of herself.

It was always extremely difficult to get him to eat. For the past few years, I have been doing everything I can to get her to gain some weight (trying numerous different types of foods), but she is not motivated by food in the slightest. Feeding the cats was very stressful. Along with her dry food, I started giving them wet food once a day (they go crazy for it) to hopefully attract Phoebe. Each time, she had to watch the cats like a hawk so they didn’t steal Phoebe’s food. (If she didn’t keep them away, they would sit in front of her to intimidate her into leaving her plate.)

As I thought about what Noah said, I realized that Phoebe would probably be happy to live as a pet alone with Noah. She has a strong bond with him. And she could feed her wet food as often as she ate, allowing him to take her time with her (considering there were no other cats stalking her). Noah said there was a $350 pet fee on the apartment, which he couldn’t afford. I told him we could do a short trial period and if he seemed to be doing well, then Jerry and I would pay the fee plus his care (food, litter, vet).

Jerry and I took Phoebe to Noah’s house and I was sure she would freak out and want to come home with us. But she seemed so comfortable there almost immediately! When she realized that there were no other pets near her, she relaxed and didn’t try to hide like she expected. Noah kept sending me updates (she knew she would ask him 100 times a day if she didn’t, ha) and she is thriving!

In addition to his dry food, he has been eating wet food three times a day. He also loves the warmer temperature in Noah’s apartment (our thermostat is at 68 F; I don’t know what Noah’s is, but it’s definitely warmer). We brought his favorite beds there and he likes to lie down in front of the heater. He has had no problems using the litter box (he never has, but he wasn’t sure how he would adjust). He seems really happy!

I miss having her around, but since she’s with Noah, I know she’s getting a lot of attention and love, and I can go see her whenever I want. Noah and his girlfriend (who also adores Phoebe) work opposite schedules, so she’s rarely home alone. My house is a million times more peaceful without the fighting (Estelle doesn’t like Chick and Duck, but they leave her alone). Feeding pets is stress-free.

I never thought this would be a solution (but then again, I never expected Noah to move out so suddenly). It has worked perfectly and I am delighted that Phoebe is doing so well. I want to take my scale there in a couple of weeks and see if she has gained any weight! 😉

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