One year ago tomorrow
- Although I doubt anyone here remembers us,,
Bella was a heart/ crf kitty
For this reason I'm posting her one year memorial here
This was written yesterday
One year ago tomorrow my cat died.
For one day short of a year
Ive thought about her, birth ,
the circumstances of her death
and all that happened in between
What you'll read today is really a work in progress
I'm posting it tonight to commemorate this anniversary
I'm not going to talk about her loss in this part
or things I'm still very angry about.
This is about her life.
This is her story.
In Conn where we lived
the phone rang in our house
one early Spring morning,
It was a call
we'd been waiting for,
Our New York Veterinarian was on the line.
He told us our tortie cat Sabrina had successfully
given birth by caesarian , two lovely red kittens.
He told us it was ok to take them home.
We had not expected this call so soon
and scrambled to get things ready
Then we jumped into the car and drove
to the city and to his office.
When I think back on it
I wasn't excited then bout the kittens
My concern had been the mother cats health.
I was so relieved that she was ok.
My very first glimpse of the kittens
changed everything for me
They were so tiny and so perfect.
I knew I would watch over them and protect them
I tried to live up to that,
finding one a very good home.
The other stayed forever.
Her name was Bella Jeanette Mc Donald
Pretty Bella for short.
Picture her as I first saw her
She was a lovely little kitten
Her soft kitten fur was an amazing color
a shining coppery red with deeply red glints
She had enormous baby blue eyes
that later turned golden brown
She grew into a beautiful young cat,
with that old fashioned Persian look,
and a very sweet expression .
Her adult coat turned tawny red
Her hair was soft and silky.,
very much like her daughters later ,
with that same lovely red color
At one point , when she was very healthy
her coat almost reached the floor
Her sister was the quicker one,
from thought to action in a flash.
Bella wasn't like that .
She'd watch her sister run around
but that wasn't for her.
She'd think about things before she acted.
This was a life long trait.
One time though she did throw this aside
and just pounced.
I'll tell you about that later.
It was quite an adventure for her.
From the time she was a tiny kitten
pretty Bella liked to play with
one toy mouse.
She carried it gently in her mouth.
chirp at the mouse on the ground
It was very touching to see
She did this all her days.
We thought this catnip mouse
triggered memories ,.....maybe
of her own kittenhood or her own
kittens, now grown,
but we were never sure.
Bella was always her mama's little girl
No matter how grown up
Bella thought she was,
Sabrina would lick her face and ears clean
She would clean Bella every day
as if she were a kitten
no matter what age Bella was
When Bella decided it was time for babies,
we arranged for a union with a showy Persian cat.
We arranged it but Bella didn't agree..
Her own choice was another cat of ours,
a sweet cream male.
She sat down in the show cats house and refused to move.
We brought her home to the cream cat.
Bella was a wonderful mother
to her own kittens later,
and very responsible
She usually had small litters,
but one time she had five kittens
After 8 weeks, even responsible
Bella was getting very tired.
The kittens were now at the creative stage
She was always stopping then from mischief
One of my other cats had lost her one kitten and was very upset.
she wandered over to Bella's kittens and started to lick then
Bella came back into the room and rushed for this cat.
After giving her some major swipes,
she stepped aside and started watching her
Apparently deciding this cat could be her stand in
she turned around and left the room.
From them on the other cat had all the cares of motherhood
and they were both quite pleased.
Her daughter Mimi was in that litter.
My first house in Dallas had a little
walled garden with a rose bush and
mellow brick walls enclosing it
The cats could go out freely because
the walls were very high
but only if we were out there too.
One Spring day just as the rose bush
was budding and the birds on the wing
Bella followed us out,
She was usually a slow moving kitty,
almost lazy in her movements
Suddenly though she seemed to fly.
Something had caught her attention
Bella had caught her first bird,
She came to us, proudly holding it
in her mouth She was very gentle with it,
but obviously.very excited.
yelling at her to drop the bird which she did
The bird was fine and flew off to her nest
but Bella was very hurt.
It took days of brushing her whiskers
and endless treats to bring her around
In a way, we were quite proud of our city cat
Not that we could let her keep the bird, but still..
After Bella's mother was gone
Bella turned to me for comfort
While she was usually non verbal,
this changed when she was upset , Then she
talk to me for hours, telling me what she was feeling.
I was sure that
Bella missed her mother's touch
She would come to me and hold her head
in the same way she had for her mother to wash
To comfort her I started to wash her too
Every day she'd be washed with tissues and warm water.
I tried to wash her down now
the same way her mother had
It seemed to help a little.
Bella did more then ask for comfort,
When I found out her mother was gone,
it was Bella who ran to me, then . She
let me know that things weren't right
She both comforted and warned me
I had just returned from out of town.
after a long absence because of family loss.
Her quick action saved Bella and her daughter.
I understood her enough to remove them bothfrom that house.
I got them to the vet the very next day.
They were quite ill.
They never returned to that house.
We found new housing the next week
This wasn't the first time
she talked to me, but it was rare then.
In her very last years this changed.
Then she began to like talking.
Bella always loved to bask in the sun,
She was very content there.
The rays make her red coat glow with color
and she seemed to know it.
But it wasn't only when she was happy
that she searched for sunlight.
Later as she weakened,
she would go out on the terrace and sit for hours.
It was a sign that she was cold.
Bella also liked to sit under the window
in the small bedroom and take in the afternoon rays.
But it was the morning sun that she really lov.
She would follow it across the room,
staying in its warmth as it moved from place to place.
Once it was gone she'd move to one of her cat houses,
Either the airy green one or the one that matched her coloring..
She liked to look at herself in the full length mirror
This was endlessly fascinating to her.
Maybe she liked her own pretty face , we never exactly knew
Before she became ill
she developed a fondness for my husband.
She'd wait for him every night at the top of the stairs.
If he were late she'd gently chide him .
She was his little princess..
Her greeting had many layers then,
inquiry ,concern...a bit of greeting too.
I was never sure how much she heard
but she did seem to
know when we were near her.
She always knew when we were there
In her last days
Bella would turn to me
and sort of cry out , as if to ask..
friend or foe.. and I would
Now she was talking all the time
and she had become nocturnal.
She'd call to me now if she wanted comfort.
During the day, early mornings or at midnight.
It was as if she knew she was running out of time.
Thinking back I know really,
she tried to tell me things
sometimes I understood but not always.
it only needed a better vocabulary.
I wish we had had one.
Bella had a good heart.
A kind cat with a quiet intelligence.
A wonderful mother.
I was very proud of her.
She came into her own after her mom was gone.
She fought very hard to stay with us.
She liked to have her face stroked.
with a soft brush and would purr endlessly for more.
I miss her very much.
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