My beloved cat, Bella, my constant companion for the last 17 years died today, in my arms.
I held her while the vet did the kindest thing and released her from the obvious pain she was suffered.
It broke my heart.
My funny faced little girl was the sweetest cat I have ever met. We got her and her sister at the same time, from a lady my Mum met on holiday in Greece. We had wanted a cat for my little girl, then 5 years old, (she is now 22), but when we heard about the 2 on offer we couldn't possibly choose between them and so Bella and her sister Fifi came to live with us.
They couldn't have been more different. Fifi was brave, the leader, whilst Bella was a nervous, shy little thing. She quickly latched on to me and became 'Mummy's cat'. She was never far from my side.
2 years later my daughter and I were shopping in a garden centre/pet shop for pond plants and fell in love with a fluffy black kitten who came home with us and became part of our family.
Hebe was never accepted by Fifi who still hisses at him every time she sees him, some 15 years later, but Bella loved him.
A few weeks ago we found Hebe in our garden unable to walk or stand and so he was rushed to the vets. Tests were done, X-Rays taken and he spent a week on a drip, antibiotics and heart tablets until the vets told us that nothing more could be done without extensive tests which would run into thousands of pounds. We had visited him in the vets and each time he was purring and so happy to see us so we made the decision to bring him home and give him lots of TLC. I am a big believer in the power of love and I wanted him home.
For days he was so wobbly and to tell the truth I wasn't sure he would get through the first night. He was unable to walk more than a few steps. He would fall over all the time and be unable to get up and was a pitiful sight.
During this time Bella had been pining and had stopped eating. I think she missed him when he was away and was distressed to see him when he got back.
Hebe has now made such an amazing recovery and is walking, jumping and eating almost normally again.
Sadly Bella had declined very fast and because of her advanced years she became very poorly.
I will miss her more than words can say. Her almost constant presence in front of the Aga, her cuddles with me on the sofa when the children have gone to bed, her little 'meep' meow, her painful happy feet which she always did on us, forgetting to put her claws away! I will miss her sweet nature, the balance of having 3 cats, all so different in their ways. I have had her longer than 2 of my children.
RIP Bella, my sweet little girl.