Phoebe is perhaps the one animal not well-documented during Linguini's five-year existence. This is because Phoebe is our resident recluse.
She's the oldest pet around here, evidenced by how young Heir 1 is in this photo.
The reason Heir 1 is looking so happy is that when this was taken, Phoebe had just been pulled from the jaws of death with the aid of
Phoebe proceeded to live her life as she pleased, sleeping either on the front porch or Heir 2's bed and taking a two-week vacation every summer. Each year she would disappear at the end of June and then, just when we were ready to write her off as having gotten lost or hit by a car or picked up somewhere, she would show up on the front porch looking for breakfast.
As she got older, though, Phoebe became a hermit and never ventured outside Heir 2's bedroom. I think this is because he was the only one brave enough to pet her; she had a tendency to clamp onto his hand so he couldn't pull away until she was good and ready.
When Heir 2 went off to college and Heir 1 moved into his room, it was with the understanding that Phoebe came with the room. It wasn't exactly a match made in heaven. Phoebs did not approve of the change in roommates and she and Heir 1 could be heard arguing with each other long into the night.
It seems that whatever item was important to Heir 1, Phoebe adopted as her own. If Heir 1 wanted to work on the computer, Phoebe wanted to lay on the keyboard; if Heir 1 wanted to play a video game, Phoebe wanted to lay on the console. She would rub herself all over his clean clothes -- never on the dirty laundry (I suggested the radical idea that perhaps putting the clothing in a drawer might solve this particular problem...what was I thinking?).
The battle escalated until one day Heir 1 flung Phoebe into the office where she's been ever since (seems laying on the gaming console wasn't quite getting the message across -- so Phoebe peed on it.)
So the office has become a sort of nursing home to Phoebs -- who we are convinced has a feline form of Alzheimers. For awhile she slept in her litter pan and relieved herself in the dog's water bowl. Now she sleeps ... well, wherever she damn well pleases -- she's Phoebe, after all.
She loves to argue. You would think a cat with a face that sweet would have a delicate little "mew." Think again. She's sounds like she's been smoking a pack of filter-less Camels for 40 years and she uses her lung power to let you know that her food bowl is empty, you have blocked access to her favorite perching spot (the dining room table) or her personal bidet is in need of cleaning.
And -- for the love of God -- don't pass her without scratching her head or patting her back. She will hunt you down and
Whenever Dark Garden sees her he suggests we "put her out of her misery." I keep reminding him is would be more like putting her out of our misery.
When Heir 2 left for Roanoke this year, he was quite sure he was saying goodbye to Phoebe for the last time. But she's like one of those aging relatives who uses their illness to manipulate the entire family -- she just keeps going and going and driving everyone crazy...
I gotta admit, for all the trouble she is, I'm kind of pulling for her to hit the over-20 mark.