On New Year's Eve, three years ago, my cat became gravely ill and I made the gut wrenching decision to put her down. It's sort of amazing to think about it now. As I type this, tears well up in my eyes and I feel the same emotion I did on that day. I miss Bella so dearly, I think of her so often, and I can barely get myself to read this post. I hope you enjoy my writing from 3 years ago where I talk about the lessons and the love I felt from such a sweet, smart, and sassy feline. And I invite you to tell me about your fur babies and how they have helped and inspired you in your life.
Nineteen years of cuddles, comfort, and play. It’s only been a day since my sweet kitty has been gone, but I miss her more than I imagined was possible. My heart physically aches. She was my best friend.
We were both babies when we met. She was 6 months old and I was just a 20 year-old college student. Together we lived in San Antonio, Austin, Boston, and Dallas. We had many different roommates, friends, and parties. She was by my side through every gut-wrenching break-up and with me the day I married the love of my life, John. She loved him, even though he wasn’t a “cat guy,” and she certainly knew it. She even tolerated a new addition to the family, Roxy, a DOG. She cuddled with me through an exciting first pregnancy and a very painful second one. She became besties with Luke and even let Zoe pet (pull) her fur.
Throughout my entire adult life, Bella and I were inseparable. Up until her last moments, she was by my side. Most cats hide when they are sick and ready to die. The only time she left me was when John and I were desperately trying to get her to eat something. She retreated to the closet as if to say “Mom, stop. I am ready.” Moments after I texted the vet that we were going to let her go, she came out of the closet and never left my side.
Pets are incredible creatures. They are such intuitive beings. They know when we hurt. They take care of us when we are sick. They celebrate with us when we are happy. They remain loyal, no matter what we say or what we do. They love unconditionally. And all they ask for in return is nourishment, love, and comfort. It’s really pretty simple and a lesson we can all learn.
Today was my first day without her. I woke up to silence. There was no meowing at the foot of the bed, no purring in my ear, and no soft fur on my face. Roxy slept in her place all day and looked at me with sad eyes. I swear she misses her too. John, the guy who doesn’t like cats, had tears in his eyes. While it hurts so very much to say goodbye, I am so grateful that she was there the day I went to the Humane Society of San Antonio.
Sweet Bella, you were an incredible companion. I am so glad you are at peace. As our vet Mandy said, “Enjoy your wings, girl.”
Comments From My Old Blog:
Allison Foley - 19th January 2017 - Love that sweet Bella. Love to you all as well. I will miss our “talks” – she was a prolific conversationalist.
Bob Barrese - 19th January 2017 - A heart warming tribute and summary of a great lifelong friendship. I love the picture of her helping Luke get well. She went through a lot of changes with dogs and babies and handled it pretty well. We’ll all miss her.
Holly Huddleston 19th January 2017 - I will miss Bella! She was so playful and friendly with me.
Ashley Maranich - 20th January 2017 - Hugs to you…Bella will be missed as much as she was loved. I will treasure my special “Bella hole” blanket forever!
Marie Barrese - 22nd January 2017 - What a wonderful cat! You will be missed, Bella. My memories will always be of her “hiding” in the plants at Bella Gardens and playing “fetch”. Just like Slippers, so glad you were a part of our lives.
Liza Collins - 24th January 2017 - Awwwww. Im not even a “cat person” and this brought me to tears. What pure joy our fur babies bring to our lives! Xxoo.
Lindsey Rose - 26th January 2017 - This brought tears to my eyes! What a profound relationship you had with Bella.