Asians for Humans, Animals & Nature
Bella’s Story

One day, an acquaintance of mine named Holly phoned me with a dilemma. She had adopted a cat from me a few years earlier and knew that I could help her. A lovely little cat had wandered into her garden a couple of days earlier and seemed to be crying most of the time. From what she could see, the cat seemed to be very weak.

I told her to take the cat to the San Francisco Animal Care & Control and have the cat examined. At that time we could better make a decision as to what to do with the cat. Unfortunately, the report was not good. The cat was quite old, had a very small heart, and overall poor health. They did not recommend attempting to save her. Holly and I agreed to let her go as there were just too many health problems.

While out doing errands the next afternoon, I decided to stop by the shelter, on the off chance that the cat might still be alive. She was, and I went in to see her. While walking to the cage, I kept whispering "kitty, kitty, kitty", and to my complete astonishment upon hearing my voice, the cat stood up, did a 360 degree turn as if she knew me and gave forth a big "meow". She seemed genuinely happy to see me and certainly did not behave like a sick, weak cat.

Of course, we all know what happened next. I couldn't walk away. I had to take her home and give her a chance.

She was given a nice warm bed in the kitchen and some food and water, and I settled down to watch her enjoy her new surroundings. But unfortunately it was not to be. She refused to eat or drink and became very lethargic. I tried all kinds of goodies to coax her into eating, but to no avail. It became necessary to force feed her for many days. Sometimes I would get up in the middle of the night to check on her, but nothing on her plate had been touched and I began to think that I had made a bad decision by taking her home.

But something kept rattling around in my head -- why was she so energetic when I saw her at the shelter and now seemed so weak. So I persisted. I continued the force-feeding and gave her Vitamin B shots. On the seventh day I was rewarded with the sight of her perking up, walking to the food bowl and starting to eat. It was a wonderful feeling to know that she was on the road to recovery. Three weeks later she seemed to be almost completely well except for her inability to jump on the bed easily, so I fixed a basket for her on the kitchen floor and she continued to improve.

Holly had developed strong feelings for the cat, which we had named Bella, and decided to adopt her, even though she already had one cat, so we all felt confident that we had a happy ending.

But again, it was not to be. The next thing I heard was that Bella was fighting with Holly's other cat and winning the battles. So Holly took Bella to her grandmother's house, and there we finally have our happy ending. Bella now has an entire house all to herself and an elderly friend to look after her. She has also set aside a special area for herself and no one else and becomes very distressed if anyone tries to intrude.

So, after many near misses, Bella finally has her happy ending.