By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Sep 25, 2015 at 1:06 PM

Welcome to OnMeowaukee Cat Week, a meowsome bunch of articles, photos, videos and Instagram contest celebrating all aspects of Milwaukee cats. Sponsored by Bark N' Scratch Outpost, these seven days are dedicated to those creatures with nine lives who make our lives more paw-sitive.

Vivian Frawley didn’t grow up with cats, nor did she have them for the first part of adult life, because she was allergic to them. However, in 1986 some friends invited her over for dinner and instead of a doggie bag, she left with a kitten in her purse.

"I truly believe you can become desensitized to allergies by exposing yourself to the allergen," says Frawley.

Since then, Frawley has fostered, raised and saved dozens of cats, and although she still occasionally suffers from allergy attacks and takes a Benadryl every night, for the most part, she’s moved beyond her allergies.

"I just deal with it," says Frawley.

After adopting her first kitten, Frawley became heavily involved in animal rescue with the Marathon County Humane Society in Wausau. She would routinely take in five cats, spay or neuter and vaccinate them, and then place them in forever homes.

"Once I found homes for all five, I would take five more and start the process over," says Frawley.

Over time, Frawley placed 60-70 cats. She preferred to foster adult cats because they are often harder to place because most people want to adopt kittens.

She also did independent rescue outside of the shelter. Two years ago, she was contacted by someone whose sister found a litter of five abandoned kittens living in a barrel in Muskego.

"I had never taken in kittens that young. They were only a day or so old," says Frawley.

Because she found them in a barrel, Frawley, who does not drink alcohol, named them Bacardi, Heineken, Coors, Vino (who she says "told" her he preferred to be called "Vinny") and the runt, Miller Lite.

"I called them the ‘barrel babies,’" she says.

Despite her around-the-clock care, only two of the kittens lived. She decided to keep them and renamed them Apollo and Mulani.

"I worked too hard to keep them alive to give them up," she says. "I made them a part of my life."

Frawley, who served as a teacher for Milwaukee Public Schools for 32 years, now works part-time as a veterinarian’s receptionist.

"I am particularly knowledgeable when it comes to cats’ behavior so the staff often gets my opinion with a particularly challenging cat," she says.

Frawley has shown her cats in cat shows for 20 years. Some of her felines placed internationally, including 17-year-old Linus.

This weekend, Frawley will show her cats at the Feeling Groovy Cat Show taking place on Saturday, Sept. 26 at the Fountain Banquet Hall in Sturtevant. The event is put on by the Cats Rule Cat Club and has a ‘60s theme. For more information go here

A few of Frawley’s cats have made it to "celebrity" status. Ellie, who passed away in December, is on a Friskie's Seafood Sensations package. She also modeled for Arbie, a pure bred Tonkinese (produced by crossbreeding a Siamese and Burmese) appeared in an ad for Crave cat treats.

Frawley works with two agents in Chicago to land paid modeling gigs for her felines.

Frawley does not disclose the number of cats she cares for – only because the number fluctuates so much.

"I really don’t keep track and the numbers change weekly," she says. "I guarantee, though, I’m not a hoarder."

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.