Bella came into my life in December 2007. I had lived here in South Florida for over a year and a half and my daughter had gone back to WV. I felt a surge of loneliness even though I had friends nearby and I was dating a wonderful man whom I adored. He being a doctor had a schedule almost as busy as mine working for the nutritional company where I spent most of my awake hours. We visited each other every time we got the chance, it just wasn’t that often.
I drove by Noah’s Ark one day and in the window I saw this beautiful white cat, I thought she looked like an Angel and decided that I would come back and get her and name her Angel. That weekend I drove down to Noah’s Ark to pick up “Angel” and I found this beautiful, bashful Tonkinese beauty. I talked to her for a good hour trying to get her to come out. When she finally did she butted her head against mine as to say “I am yours take me home”
Sure enough I had forgotten about the “Angel” I had seen in the window. However when I bent down to pick Bella up another long haired white and grey cat sat staring me in the eyes. She looked at me as to say “Please take me too” There was something about her and I asked the lady at the shelter this cats story. She had been there for awhile, an older cat very sweet and loving but everyone wanted the “kittens”.
I was sad as I stood there holding baby “kitten” Bella. I really hadn’t come for two cats but both of them were speaking to my heart. I asked the lady what is this cats name? Her name is “Dolly”. Oh how the heavens opened up that day as I yelled out I will take DOLLY too.
For years I had walked around singing Dolly songs as my inspiration in life and out of the blue a cat named Dolly is given as a gift of the Divine.
I loved both of my new fur babies very much. One morning I woke up to someone yelling in my living room. “Mam, mam this is the Broward County Police” I jumped from my bed and ran into the living room, where a police officer and my neighbor stood. My living room door was wide open.
I just stood there in confusion as I screamed “WHAT IS WRONG?” It was one of those moments where you know you have done nothing to warrent the police coming to your apartment, but yet the ice cold energy in the room tells you things are not OK.
The officer stated that my neighbor had called 911 because my door was open, and he was afraid something had happened to me. They just wanted to check and make sure I was ok. I yelled out Dolly’s name. I could just feel that she was not in the apartment.
To this day I do not know how my door got opened, and I know that the last thing I did every night was lock my door. I do know that it happened and that we did not find Dolly in the apartment. My neighbor helped me search the neighborhood for the entire day. I had a sadness that I can not put into words. Dolly had chosen me at the shelter. She basically touched my heart in a way that there was no way around it she was coming home with me.
Now she was gone.
Bella and I went on with our lives as best as we could, until I lost my apartment. I read so many posts where animal lovers say things like don’t get a pet unless you plan to keep it for life. Sometimes there are some very hurtful words said about people who give their animals away or who can’t keep them for whatever reason.
When I lost my apartment and started this transition of moving in with friends to stay for awhile, I named myself the Bariatric Gypsy. I gave away almost all of my possessions so I could travel lightly. Everything I own fits into my car, including my massage table. I had to live lightly to be in a position to do this journey.
The first home I stopped already had animals. A dog and a cat. There was also a door that they could go outside as they pleased. Bella was not a “outside” cat. I knew I could not take her with me on this journey. When I signed up to live awhile as a nomad Gypsy, I knew it would not be a life for Bella.
I sent messages and FB posts to all of my friends searching for someone who could take Bella and love her. Everyone wanted her, but no one could take her for reasons that I understood.
I remember the day I loaded her up and took her back to Noahs Ark, I stood and I cried. I took her from her pink kitty bag that I carried her in and cried as if someone had died. I felt so lonely, so alone and so horrible, My pain was was huge and my tears were flowing.
I will never forget how I felt that day.
When I got home, with tears still in my eyes, I got a text message that stated why didn’t you tell me about Bella? I had posted my pain on my FB page and my friend Haven had sent me this text as a response? I wrote back is this Haven?
I called and she said can you go get her? Chill bumps raced up and down my arm. I was so so happy that Bella would have a home where she would be loved.
I went back to the No Kill Shelter and retrieved my beautiful Bella and drove her to Havens Home.
During this journey I have had so many friends who have done amazing things for me, including giving me a place to live until I got “home”…
This is one of those special moments where a friend touches my very essence. Thank you Haven for being a safe haven for both Bella and I.
One of the morals of this story is please do not judge people for the decisions they make. I had no intentions of letting my cats go when I adopted them. But when I was faced with a life of uncertainty it was the kind thing to do to give Bella up to a home where she would have a safe, loving permanent environment. Not a life of moving to and from not knowing where she would land next. I could not give that to myself, but it was something I could give Bella. It was a hard enough decision for me, without other people’s judgement… and their not knowing what was going on in our life.
Thank you for reading my blog.