In pictures: One Omani woman and her 492 furry housemates
It all began in 2008 when Maryam al-Balushi, 51, reluctantly stepped in to care for a small Persian cat her son had brought home but didn't look after. Two years later, she found herself caring for another cat - but this time it was different.
"I found myself totally immersed. I took care of her entirely, feeding her, bathing her and spending a lot of time with her," Balushi says.
Soon word spread, and expatriates began to leave their pets on her doorstep, and animal shelters would re-settle their animals - many of which were abandoned or abused - with her. Balushi, who was orphaned at a young age, says the animals have helped her with depression: "I was in a dark place and they were the lifeline that rescued me."
Balushi, a retired civil servant, spends $7,800 every month to care for the animals, 17 of which are blind. That money goes on food, cleaning supplies and veterinary expenses.
But as her popularity has grown, with a large number of followers on Instagram, more people have come forward with donations to help her with the costs.
Animal welfare activists in Oman are trying to bring down the number of strays in the country after witnessing an increase in abandoned pets over the past few years. The penalty for abandonment is $25.
Despite complaints from her neighbours and the expense of caring for so many animals, Balushi has described her pets as "more faithful than humans".
"I hope the community will support me with what I do because, in the end, the animals depend on it," says Balushi.
(All pictures: Mohammed Mahjoub/AFP)