This is one of Susan Sohljoo's favorite times of the week.

Once during the middle of the week, and later on the weekend, she is able to visit her cats at a local veterinarian's office. She strokes them, cuddles with them, and gives each a special dose of TLC.

One by one, a friendly veterinary tech brings them in. Some respond with purrs of delight. Less social felines send a nonchalant glance as she scratches their back or wipes their eyes with a Kleenex.

It wasn't always this way. Last month, most of Sohljoo's many cats were taken away by Hesperia Animal Control. The city maintained Sohljoo, who lives with her 81-year-old mother, was in violation of several city zoning and public nuisance codes.

Initially, the cats were taken to the Hesperia Animal Shelter, but she negotiated with the city to move nine cats to the office of her veterinarian. She's paying $5,400 to board them for one month.

Two weeks ago she received a call from the vet who said one of the cats, a tri-colored feline named Cheesler, had died. The cat's death has been hard on Sohljoo, who must move out of the city to get her cats back, according to the arrangement with the city.

"I already lost one of my nine," she said. "I'm so beside myself."

The situation forced her to break a promise with her pets, she said.

"I broke my promise to her. I said I'd never leave her. And I made a promise to her three children that I would never divide them. I broke that promise. I'll never forgive myself for that."