Friday, September 9, 2011

For You, My Dear Bella

I've had the idea to write a post about you after reading by Meowser.  Even though you're gone now, it's never too late to write about what a joy you were.

Photo by Ms. Pillowz

I remember like it was yesterday.  Ten years ago on a cool yet sunny March day, I drove out to the Media SPCA to adopt a cat.  I wanted a sweet natured, charcoal gray cat, (because my 1st cat was gray), who was housebroken and independent to be home alone during the day while I worked.  I walked around the room peering into cages and reading information cards on cats of all sizes and colors.  When I looked into your cage, I just knew.  And it had to have been fate, because you were located towards the end of the room and you were the only gray cat there.  It was something about the way that you proudly held your tail when you walked, purring, head high, as you trotted back and forth.  You weren't afraid of me or the handlers.  You were quiet, unlike the mouthy cat next door who chattered nonstop during my entire visit. You were definitely the one.

I didn't have a carrier case, so they put you in a cardboard box for transport to my house.  You were so excited to be going somewhere that you kept pushing your head into the lid until it finally gave way and you busted out.  You came right over to me, climbed onto my chest as I drove, and gave me repeated catty kisses as if to say, "thank you so much for choosing me."  I had to pull over.  Since you totally busted up the box, so I couldn't put you back in there.  I tried putting you in the back seat and on the passenger side floor, but you wanted to be near me.  You eventually climbed down and sat near the brake.  I had to pull over a few more times before we made it home.

Once we got home, you followed me everywhere.  I needed to run out to grab more supplies for you.  When I came back, my mom said that you had been crying and looking for me.  I bought you a fluffy cat bed to sleep in, but you wanted no parts of it.  You just wanted to be near me.  You climbed into my bed and pushed yourself as close to me as you could get.  It's where you felt safe.

Did you know that I had your name picked out before we even met?  Bella is Italian for "beautiful".  With your shiny charcoal gray fur, white tuxedo chest, white tipped paws, and big clear eyes, you most certainly exemplified the name.  Your name didn't just describe how you looked, but also who you were.  You were so loving and sweet.  I'm not sure if I told you, but it really brought me joy when you greeted me at the door every day when I came home.  You'd drop to the floor like a log and roll around waiting for me to rub your head and pet your stomach.

Early on you developed this habit as my personal alarm clock every morning at six. You climbed onto my chest and licked my forehead until I got out of bed.  You must've known that frequently woke up late and wanted to make sure I got to work on time.  So thoughtful and smart.  You truly were a joy to come home to and wake up with.

Photo by Ms. Pillowz

Your passing has been difficult for me.  Ten years went by so fast and I had hoped to be with you for another 10.  I had visions of you being old and puffy sitting in my husband's lap or sitting on the couch looking annoyed because the kids kept bothering you.  I envisioned how much you would love our new house once our family moved.  I pictured you trotting haughtily from from to room with your tail high and curved at the tip.

Unfortunately, you aren't in the physical to be a part of these memories. On what would be my last day with you,  you sat in my suitcase while I packed, as per your usual.   Now that I think back on it, maybe that was your way of making sure that I took a little of you wherever I went, but you were already there since you are in my heart.  I picked you up, held you in my arms and told her how much I loved you  and would miss you while you purred and gave me catty kisses.  I put you down and finished packing.  I had no idea that that would be the last time that I held you.

I love you and miss you so much.   In those years together you blessed me with so much.  I have so many memories of you, my dear friend.  I can't forget you comforting me when I was sad, or sitting on my chest while giving me kisses in the mornings, or  sleeping right next to me and cuddling whenever the heat went out.  I'll miss you Bella.  I miss all the times that you begged me for spinach and Doritos and how you ate watermelon.  I miss knowing that after every workday or every trip, I had you to come home to.  They say that time heals all.  It's been several months since you've been gone yet it still saddens me that you aren't here.

I left sunny Pittsburgh and returned home to gray and dreary Philadelphia.  I was in a fog from the ride home all the way home.  The closer I got, the worse I felt.  When I got the phone call, I remember saying that I didn't want to go home, because it didn't feel like home without her there.  We pulled up to the front of the house and I noticed the empty windowsill where she was usually perched while she waited for me.   I visited her resting place and even went into my house, but I just couldn't stay there.  They had cleared her food area and packed up her toys.  It felt so empty there.

I went to my mom who sat and talked to me for some time while I tried to wrap my mind around Bella's passing.  She helped steer me towards the pleasant memories to hold on to.  She had written a lovely letter to the Delco SPCA and we both donated money in memory of our beloved friend.  We spent the remainder of the afternoon talking, laughing, crying and hugging, which made me feel so much better.

I went outside to get my suitcase out of the trunk.  As soon as I came out, the sun suddenly appeared from behind the dark clouds.  It was beautiful and the suns rays felt so warm and comforting.  Call me weird, but I felt a familiar energy surrounding me.  I can't describe it, but I knew that it was her.  She was shining brilliantly, her soul high above, happy and wrapped in infinite love.

It's been tough since she's been gone, but I've had so much support from family and friends. My mom especially, who talked as often as I needed to, held my hand when we came home and Bella wasn't in the window, cried with me and and hugged me so many times.  She kept me from moping around and being cooped up in the house.  She's truly been my rock.


It is now the end of August and since then I've met and adopted another cat name.  She was a stray cat who we've been feeding for a number of months.  It took her and I a while to get accustomed to one another, me moreso than her.  You see, she scratched me one morning when I was clearing her food plate and she used to hiss at me.  She got along better with my mom.  She wanted me to take her since she felt that she was a good cat, probably abused and pretty scared.  It took some convincing, but I knew that I didn't want to see her ran over or struggling outside in the winter.  I decided to take her in.

She's been in my house now for a little less than a month.  I have to say that I'm so very happy that I opened my home to Chessie.  When I come home, I feel happy to see her and know that she is safe and well cared for.  Of course, I miss Bella, but I'm sure she is happy knowing that I've opened my home and heart to another loving cat.


  1. This is such a beautiful post!  The song played as I read and I could feel the love that you and Bella shared.  Her memories will be with you always and no one can take that away from you.  When we experience loss, it takes some time to be able to get back to our happy place and move on.  Opening our hearts to others is always a scary thing.  Once we push past our fears though, we realize that we've made the right choice.  Loved ones are never forgotten, Bella is with you always.  My favorite part that you shared is, "Call me weird, but I felt a familiar energy surrounding me. I can’t describe it, but I knew that it was her. She was shining brilliantly, her soul high above, happy and wrapped in infinite love."  I can feel the warmth, literally.  Thanks for sharing! @djrelat7

  2. I thought I told you that I don't want comments that make me cry! lol Your words have been so true. I think about her daily. She is definitely always with me. Thank you so much for reading, commenting, and posting.

  3. Awe!!!  This is so touching.  Made me cry.  I only met Bella a couple of times but she was memorable!  I know she is happy that you are a mommy to a homeless kitty.  The great thing is you have all of the memories of Bella and are making new ones with Chessie!

  4. Thank you for your comment! She truly was memorable! I have a picture of her on desktop, so every time I log on to my computer, she's there. I miss her so much, but Chessie is a great cat too. Can't wait for you to meet her!