Meet Feebee, My First Feline Soul Mate

Feebee

There are many different definitions of the term “soul mate.” Even though the term is often used in connection with a romantic relationship, a soul mate is simply someone we feel a deep and immediate connection with. We can’t always explain rationally why we’re so drawn to a soul mate.

For me, the term soul mate also has a strong spiritual component. We enter into these soul mate relationships not just because we’re drawn to them, but because they hold lessons for our personal and spiritual growth. And not surprisingly, I believe that this connection doesn’t just exist with humans. It also extends to cats.

Liz Eastwood, the publisher of the Natural Cat Care Blog, also believes that feline soul mates exist. She calls them ” soul cats,” and has devoted an entire series on her blog to featuring some of these special cats. I was honored that she chose to feature Feebee in her series. He was my first cat,  and also my first ” soul cat.” I say my first, because I think I’ve been blessed with more than one of these special cats. Amber was definitely another one, and so was Buckley. And I suspect that Allegra and Ruby are, too.

I wrote an entire book about Buckley. I’ve written and continue to write about Amber here on The Concious Cat. Allegra and Ruby are very much a part of this blog and even write their own columns. But other than a few mentions here and there, I haven’t written much about Feebee.

The interview was originally featured on Liz’s blog. Here’s your opportunity to learn more about my special guy.

feline-soul-mate

How did you find each other?

Feebee was born to a cat named Blue, who belonged to a childhood friend of my former husband in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. Walt and I were living in Germany at the time, but we would be moving back to the Washington, DC area shortly, so Walt’s friend saved one of the kittens in Blue’s litter for us. Meeting Feebee was love at first sight for me. We took him home as soon as we had moved into our new house in Northern Virginia, and for the next fifteen and a half years, Feebee was the love of my life.

I should probably explain his name -most people think Feebee is a female name. The first time Walt picked him up, he said “hi there, little fishbreath” after getting a whiff of his breath, and we thought that would be a cute name. However, we also thought nobody should have to go through life with a name like Fishbreath, so we shortened it to F.B., which didn’t flow nicely, so somehow it became Feebee.

When we picked him up to take him home with us, he was six months old. When we put him in the car, he sat by the back window and cried and cried for the first half hour of our drive. Then he came to the front, curled up in my lap, and went to sleep – and that’s where he stayed for the rest of the two-hour drive. That was my first taste of the kind of happiness he would bring me for the next 15 ½ years.

feline-soul-mate

Is there a personality trait or experience that stands out?

He was a very affectionate cat. He loved to cuddle, and he slept in my arms most nights. He loved food – all of it, not just his cat food. He had some very strange tastes for a cat that included mustard covered bits of lettuce, cantalope, and potato chips. He was also very playful, and particularly loved catnip stuffed toys that he could hug to himself and kick at with his hindlegs.

What made you aware of your special bond?

I think I didn’t realize that he was my soul cat until after my divorce. He’d been with us almost ten years at that point. There was never a question that he would stay with me, and it’s a good thing he did. The divorce was only the beginning of a very dark period in my life: four months after my former husband left, my mother passed away after a short illness. Between trying to adjust to life as a newly single woman, and mourning the untimely passing of my mother, I felt completely overwhelmed. Just getting through each day seemed impossible at times. But Feebee was by my side for all of it, and somehow, I managed. He let my tears soak his soft grey fur. His quiet, loving presence eased my sadness. He was a great listener, and his rumbling purr provided comfort. He cheered me up with his utter cuteness.

Despite his loving presence, the pain and sadness sometimes became unbearable, and there were times when I considered just ending it all. But whenever these dark thoughts entered my mind, I would also think of Feebee. Knowing that someone still loved and needed me made it impossible to give up on life. Who would take care of him if I wasn’t around? And each and every time, love pulled me back from the edge – this special love between a cat and his person. Feebee gave me many gifts throughout the almost sixteen years he spent with me, but none greater than the gift of life.

He was also instrumental in guiding me toward a new career. There’s nothing like major life changes to make you re-evaluate your life. I had become increasingly unhappy with my corporate job but had no clear sense of what I was meant to be doing with my life. Then Feebee took matters into his own paws, so to speak, and developed bladder stones. The time we then spent at veterinary hospitals for diagnosis, treatment, and surgery led me to change careers. I started volunteering and then working part time at veterinary hospitals, which eventually led to a full-time position managing an animal hospital.

I would love to hear about your special “soul cats” – share them with us in a comment!

 

24 Comments on Meet Feebee, My First Feline Soul Mate

  1. Chelsea
    December 2, 2019 at 2:52 am (1 week ago)

    Hi. I know this post is several years old and I don’t expect my comment to be read, but I’m somehow compelled to write this even though as a rule I don’t comment on blogs.

    I lost my soul cat today. I didn’t know there was a term for it until, in my grief, I stumbled across your blog. My sweet little Bandit was definitely my soul cat. We had such an amazing connection until the very end. And even though I can honestly say today is the worst day of my life, I would do it all over again for him.

    Bandit came to my mom one day on our back porch, almost a year to the day that we lost my childhood cat, Jingles. As a teenager, I was very angry with my mom for smoking. So she started going out to the backyard to smoke in secret. Well one day he came over to her and jumped right up on her shoulders and back, purring like crazy! My mom kept this from the rest of my family until one day a bad thunderstorm was forecasted. She had to beg my dad to let him stay in the bathroom overnight. We immediately fell in love but I was particularly close to him. We searched high and low for his owners, made posters, checked for a chip, etc. Nobody ever came forward. So we chipped him and he was ours.

    Over the years we bonded so completely. He would cuddle with me every night, and most often waited for me to lift the covers so he could burrow next to me. Everyone in the family knew he was ‘my’ cat. I taught him tricks, we played for hours, and if I ever sat in a chair you can bet Bandit was right behind me waiting to jump up. He was such a smart cat with the most amazing personality. About 5 years ago, I had surgery for endometriosis. I came home from surgery and tried to get comfortable on a recliner. Bandit came immediately and I was so worried he’d jump on my wounds but he didn’t. He jumped up and sniffed my wounds and laid next to me purring and licking me for hours.

    We also saved his life twice (a fight with a cat outside and later an abscess), and since nursing him back to health he was attached at my hip.

    He was indoor/outdoor for most of his life. When I got my license he’d wait every night in the driveway for my to come home. Sometimes he’d hop in when I opened the door and I’d take him for a ride.

    Eventually I married and we moved cross country and I took him with me. Of course my husband and him fell in love immediately.

    The only bad thing about Bandit was his chronic upper respiratory issues. He had them for about 10 of his 15 years. We tried everything. Antibiotics, anti virals, lyseine, specialists …nothing made it better. But he never suffered. It never got him down. He was so happy all the time being near me. He was there through basically every hard moment in my life. I cried into his fur more often than I care to admit.

    But. Over this summer he began losing weight. Many vet visits, a sinus flush, antibiotics, bloodwork, and two lymph node biopsies later, we learned he had cancer which had already spread. Just three weeks later, today, we set him free at home with in-home services. We did everything we could for him and yet I am wracked with guilt and sadness. I genuinely feel like I lost a part of my soul. I told my husband I do not ever want another cat. Nothing will ever compare (we still have our calico but she’s more his cat and we never really bonded). His death has been far harder than any other person or animal I’ve ever lost. I had him for literally half of my life. I can’t even describe the level of grief and loss I feel. It is so deep. I am dreading falling asleep because I know that when I wake he won’t be there waiting for me to lift the covers and cuddle with him.

    Thank you for making your post.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      December 2, 2019 at 6:14 am (1 week ago)

      I’m so sorry about Bandit, Chelsea – thank you for sharing his story. Losing a soul cat is devastating, and my heart goes out to you. Be gentle with yourself as you mourn your special boy.

      Reply
  2. John Graham
    May 20, 2018 at 4:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Our soul mate was definitely Betsthecat, she came into our lives as a rescue from another human being and stayed for 20 years. Beautiful and gentle, she was a stay at home but liked to sun herself on a bench in the garden only if we were out there with her. Looking into her eyes and hearing her purr gave me a contact with a world that I can only describe as spiritual. She crossed nearly a year ago now but looking at any pictures of other black cats still wrenches the hurt back again. I still talk to her and touch her pictures around the house. I totally understand when you talk about soul-mates.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      May 20, 2018 at 4:55 pm (2 years ago)

      I don’t think we ever stop missing these soul cats, John.

      Reply
  3. Mallary
    July 30, 2016 at 3:47 am (3 years ago)

    It’s amazing how these animals come into our life.
    Forgive me for this long post, but I’m feeling very sentimental.
    I had three cats already. Three amazingly sweet girls who meant the world to me.
    I was on this Facebook group about local kitty lovers.
    Some used it to show off their cats, and some used it to rehome.

    One lady posted that she was rehoming two kittens, a girl and a boy, and she posted the pictures of them.
    The girl was a tabby, and the male was a blue tuxedo, and I was catching myself always going back to look at the boy, unfortunately I had a full house and all girls, I couldn’t take on another cat, and a male at that.
    This ogling of the kitten picture went on. People were interested in the sister, but not the brother, which made me sad for him, but a little spark in me told me to keep showing my boyfriend and maybe he would give in.
    A few more weeks rolled by, and I brought in a temporary foster, another female. She had an upper respiratory infection and poor thing couldn’t breathe through her nose. I couldn’t bring another kitten in to catch that.
    All of these events happened April – May, fast forward to the first weekend of June. I am babysitting a garage sale, and the lady who had the kitten I had been eyeballing said she was coming into town, and he would be going to the shelter. My heart could not let that happen. On top of my four cats, I was watching two other kittens for a friend for the day, so I had six cats in a tiny duplex, along with two large dogs.
    I messaged the lady and told her I’d take the kitten. I left the garage sale to go get him, took him home, barely opened the door, and put him inside. I had to run back to the garage sale.
    Once I got home, I found the boy sitting off to himself. So I gave him attention for a little while. When my boyfriend got home, he told me to get rid of him, we had too many. Thankfully, my grandparents took two of my females because they fell in love with them.
    That night I went to get ready for a going away party, and, while I was in the shower, this kitten followed me, past two large dogs he had never met before, and sat on the lid of the toilet while I showered. None of the other cats did that.
    That was when my heart melted for him.
    My boyfriend and I named him Ezio. We’ve had to downsize since then, with him being the only cat that got to move with us. (Don’t worry, my girls are in good hands.)
    He has helped me through dark times. We both have awful PTSD and anxiety, and we help each other.
    I can’t imagine where I’d be without him. I had a minor hoarding problem, but once we connected, I’ve felt complete.
    I can’t have children because of medical issues, so he is my baby.
    I’m really sorry about the long post, it’s 3 am, and I’m cuddling him to death and just so happy other people have kitty soul mates!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 30, 2016 at 5:43 am (3 years ago)

      What a great story, Mallary – thank you for sharing! It sure sounds like Ezio was meant to be in your life. Amazing how one little cat can completely change your life, isn’t it?

      Reply
  4. Bernadette
    April 20, 2016 at 2:09 pm (4 years ago)

    Where would we be without our feline guides? FeeBee knew he had come home too.

    Reply
  5. Sarah Atherton
    April 20, 2016 at 1:22 pm (4 years ago)

    My first cat was actually a suggestion to make my husband happy. We named him Lancelot and he was also my first ever cat. He wasn’t a cuddly cat and on occasions launched vicious attacks on me scratching and biting. I was convinced he hated me and didn’t know what to do. Then, my husband gave up on us after 12 months and left. Lance became my everything, he didn’t cuddle but he shared my couch, sat with me while I ate, slept on my bed and the sadder I was the closer he snuggled in. We had a stray who managed to get into the house which stressed him out so when I sold the house and returned to me parents he loved the change and thrived. He was my little protector and shadowed me everywhere. When he died after running in front of a car I genuinely thought I’d never get over it. He was 6. I believe he was sent to me, he wasn’t easy but he was my constant and will always be my first feline friend. X

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      April 20, 2016 at 2:44 pm (4 years ago)

      What a special guy, Sarah! He was clearly meant to be with you, even if it was only for a short time.

      Reply
  6. viki worden
    April 20, 2013 at 11:32 pm (7 years ago)

    In my previous post it should have said feebee and not gerber. I don’t like the spell check on my kindle lol

    Reply
  7. viki worden
    April 20, 2013 at 11:30 pm (7 years ago)

    I loved the story of you and Gerber! It made me cry because of your special bond and relating it to me and my kitties. I know allegra and Ruby are your soul kitties. It is quite obvious when I read your blogs. It is the most wonderful feeling in the world to have soul kitties!

    Reply
  8. Layla Morgan Wilde
    July 14, 2011 at 11:24 am (8 years ago)

    Soul mate cats like human soul mates; instant connection and have a certain”knowing”. What a joy to read about your soul mate kitty, Feebee.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm (8 years ago)

      I’m glad you enjoyed Feebee’s story, Layla.

      Reply
  9. maru
    July 14, 2011 at 8:40 am (8 years ago)

    When you get to meet one of those soul mates… you purrrrrr… and I think it is something you need in your life and it comes.

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm (8 years ago)

      Maru, I agree – if you open your heart to these special experiences, they will find you.

      Reply
  10. Bernadette
    July 14, 2011 at 8:33 am (8 years ago)

    Wonderful story, Ingrid. Who would know in those first moments, what would come and how our lives would change?

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 14, 2011 at 4:15 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Bernadette. I think not knowing how much these cats impact our lives is part of the journey.

      Reply
  11. Sammy, One Spoiled Cat
    July 14, 2011 at 7:04 am (8 years ago)

    Ingrid I just loved this wonderful story of the most special bond between cat and woman that we know to be one of the soul. I have been fortunate enough to have several cats in my life who were MORE than just “company” to me – they were PART of me. My Sam is one of those with whom I share that incredible bond of special understanding. Your story is a reminder that these creatures we share our lives and love with are so much more than “pets” – they are very spiritual beings who bring out the best in us and return our love with unconditional devotion. Thanks for telling us about Feebee….it’s a very dear story that I’ll not soon forget.

    Pam Kimmell

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm (8 years ago)

      I’m glad you enjoyed Feebee’s story, Pam. These soul cats do become a part of us, don’t they?

      Reply
  12. Anna
    July 14, 2011 at 6:27 am (8 years ago)

    Oh I LOVED reading about the special bond between you and Feebee, Ingrid!!! I have tears in my eyes… it is so deeply touching. I am sure he is smiling at you from Rainbow Bridge right now!!!
    I have heard many stories about cats literally saving their human’s life in dark times… and your story is one of the most touching I’ve ever heard. Feebee was a precious soul, he changed your life and you changed his life. My Zoe arrived in a difficult time too, when I was feeling very lonely and depressed at times. These little, precious souls give us so much!
    YES, I do believe too that soul mates are not just human… Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with us!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Ingrid
      July 14, 2011 at 4:14 pm (8 years ago)

      Thanks, Anna. Feebee definitely was an amazing introduction to the series of life changing cats I’ve had the fortune to have in my life!

      Reply

3Pingbacks & Trackbacks on Meet Feebee, My First Feline Soul Mate

  1. […] learned to open my heart to the lessons cats have taught me in my life. It all started with Feebee, my first cat, who was not only my primary support during some very dark days, but was […]

  2. […] Feebee used to sleep in the crook of my arm, with his head on my shoulder. When I was still married, he used to sleep in between me and my former husband. In hindsight, perhaps that was not a sleeping arrangment conducive to marital bliss? Well, let’s just say picking the cat over the ex-husband was a good decision on all levels. […]

  3. […] had to make this decision three times. In April of 2000, Feebee lost his battle with lymphoma. After tolerating chemotherapy well for almost seven months, he […]

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