Bella -N-Rose

Bella and RoseAll was well in the Cantrell Home until the day Rose arrived.  Who would have thought that an adopted kitten from a local shelter could cause such an upheaval in the social order of things?  Bella, our aging, hybrid Siamese-Tabby feline, has been the one in charge and that is just the way things have been for well over a decade.  Until Rose…

We have actually come full-circle upon our return to Fort Hood, Texas, after an eleven year exodus.  The Army sent us back here recently, back to where our lives given over to the cat species all began.  Bella was literally brought home from the local Walmart one day years ago, along with the laundry soap, cereal, and toilet paper.  Who could resist that tiny, helpless, white ball of fluff with large blue eyes, being literally pawned off to any willing, weak, indulging parents with children in tow who just happened to be crossing the parking lot?  As one-half of the willing, weak, indulging parent team, I can attest to that being where it all began.

Bella was a handful from the start.  Although, tiny, she was quickly in charge!  She kept us up nights with her constant kitty crooning and her temperamental tendencies were immediately discovered.  She loved us and hated us.  She expected to be stroked one minute, but did not hesitate to bite if she suddenly changed her mind.  She growled, hissed, and swatted at any and every unsuspecting house guest, vet clinic attendant, and even us.  All of these qualities have continued from kitten-hood to the present.  She has a reputation amongst the extended family and beyond as being a real *$%^&&*!  She can be sweet, but honestly, only those of us closest to her have seen this.  It is those rare moments that have kept her in our home all these years.  We have often said that nobody else in this entire world would take her in, and she would be doomed to euthanasia within moments if we just dropped her off at the pound.  Hence, she is still with us!

Aging has a way of mellowing us all, and even Bella is not resistant to this.  We are aging, too, and maybe this is why we have co-existed with her so well for so long.  But Eliza Jane, our young, college cheerleader-daughter, now living back at home, was not  content just living with her aging parents and old, aging Bella.  She begged for a new kitten to keep her company.  That’s when we acquired Rose.

Like Bella, Rose is a handful!  She not only drives us crazy with biting, scratching, and drawing blood, she is in constant motion until wearing herself out.  And she continually harasses Bella.  If I had put a wager on this, I would have bet that Bella would take down Rose from the start.  Bella has shown great restraint and patience-she’s been “almost” motherly in her approach to Rose.  That is until she has reached her full tolerance level.  I have always quoted the movie, Overboard, in reference to Bella’s one-and-only status in our family.  The mother of Goldie Hawn’s character says to her high-maintenance, self-absorbed daughter, “If you have a baby, then you won’t be the baby anymore!”  Bella has surprised me with her effort to be sweet!

Still, when we see Bella being mercilessly pounced upon and attacked, we step in with a water-filled squirt bottle to help ward off Rose.  We put Rose in one of our extra bedrooms behind closed doors at night, so all of us, including Bella, can get a break.  Bella often retreats to a high shelf in our master closet during the day, too.  Needless to say, Rose is a little like the self-absorbed, high-strung kitten we got at Walmart years ago!

Our life has clearly gone to the cats!  I really do wish I could turn back the hands of time, back to when it was just Bella, a mere few weeks ago.  I had learned to deal with Bella.  I was used to Bella.  Used to a one-cat home.  We were mellowing with time together.  But now, Rose.  Rose and Bella.  Rose and Bella and us.  And Eliza is at cheer camp this week!

P.S.  I purchased a gigantic kitty tree from Petsmart yesterday.  I had to wait almost an hour in a hundred degrees Texas heat parking lot waiting for my husband to arrive to retrieve the gigantic kitty tree lodged in my car’s back seat almost permanently causing the doors not to close.  I should have measured before I purchased!


Leave Comment