Belle (Hell's Belles)

About 5 years ago our friend Krista was living with us for a short time (too short, in my opinion). We were away, and she had to be gone for a bit, so she had her friend Lee take care of the pets. And Lee discovered a love for cats.

So Lee adopted a cat (Pumpkin), but when she went to get Pumpkin, her kitten daughter had not been adopted, so Lee got a twofer (this likely should have been an indication). Lee took them home, but those 2 cats in a tiny studio apartment were too much. The kitten (about 5 months old really) needed a home.

So we took Belle, who was Pumpkin Junior then, but princess-obsessed Beatrix renamed her. And it was soon evident that Belle had a lot of ... spark. I remember one of the first nights we had her, where she was literally bouncing off the walls, and Patrick quipped "You know, they make prozac for cats..."

Belle settled in but didn't really. She stole Barbie shoes like a klepto Imelda Marcos. She skittered around the house. She occasionally snugged in.

And she HATED the other cats, especially Mimi.

After awhile, Belle even forgot how to purr, and it became obvious she did not like sharing space with cats. She loved the dog though. As out friend Sarah put it, every morning she would go up to him and ask "What are we doing today? Can we hang together all day? Maybe read each others' journals?"

She liked dogs a lot less when Winston came to live with us. And she still did not remember how to purr.

She went off to hang with our friend Dylan for a week, and came back happier. It was then that she became really attached to me, and suddenly became my cat, snuggled against me when she could. She got a little purr back. But she still was not happy, especially when we began to foster Tiger Lily.

Then my friend Jane suggested her friend J, who had lost her cat. She and her college-age daughter were looking for an only cat they could shower love on. Belle met her and liked her, and then I brought her over and she settled right in. Updates have indicated she is very happy.

I'm really torn about this. J and her daughter are exactly the right people for Belle, and she is already much happier there. But I feel like Belle had become MY cat, and I failed her. I've never rehired a cat before, and though I know it was for the best of reasons, I'm having a hard time with it.

I miss you, Belle, and I'm not ready to clean up all the fur where you used to hang out on my suitcase on the 3rd floor. I know you're better off, but I'm sorry I failed you.


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