Bella is a big, beautiful girl who needs to find a furever home that will stand by her side… through the good and the bad! That includes being returned to the shelter with stomach issues. But even though it was easily managed, she spent YEARS waiting for love.
Her life has been one of hope, heartbreak, struggle and now hope returns.
As a kitten, she was brought to The Cat Corner in Hampton, Virgina, in June 2012. The nonprofit, no-kill, all-volunteer-run organization has been helping local animals since 1981.
Happily, Bella was adopted shortly after arriving at the shelter. All was well for a few years, but then Bella began having stomach issues. Her “furever” family decided that instead of helping her conquer the problem, they couldn’t be bothered with it.
She was sadly returned to the shelter as a MUCH larger, 23-pound cat!
The Cat Corner wasn’t about to let the gorgeous Calico girl suffer. They took her to their vet for multiple tests to confirm just what was causing her illness. She was diagnosed with IBS, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which is a “chronic irritation in the lining of the bowels”, according to PetMD.com.
“It is not always known what underlies irritable bowel syndrome, but some of the suspected causes are thought to be related to diet intolerances, possibly due to allergies, the ability of the food to effectively pass through the gastrointestinal tract, and mental distress.”
Bella was placed on a grain-free diet, given ¼ tablet of Pepcid and Forti Flora once a day. These were to help with her irritating stomach issues. They were careful to restrict the amount of food she was given as well to help her lose weight.
Never one to let her discomfort effect her attitude, Bella greets everyone she meets with a sweet disposition.
“Bella is a sweet cat that loves human contact and being loved on. She is VERY affectionate and gives little love bites.”
“Bella never has enough love and doesn’t seem to run out of love to give. She is very playful and loves chasing string and feather toys, and is very good at catching them!”
Supporters and visitors to the shelter have only wonderful things to say about Bella.
“She greets every person that comes in. When I hold her she puuuuurs and rubs my face/neck. Love this girl!”
“She’s always got something to say! Such a sweet, talking girl!”
Still, day after day went by and adopters keep overlooking the now 6-year-old beauty.
Eventually the stresses of shelter life began taking a toll on Bella.
In September 2018, Bella began reacting to these situations by over-grooming her gorgeous fur. Cats use grooming as a calming behavior. Many cats can become anxious or stressed, leading the once calming habit, to become almost compulsive.
Many times this compulsive behavior can lead to dangerous behaviors says icatcare.org.
“If your cat is over-grooming you will notice patches of broken or sparse hair, complete hair loss in areas and occasionally damage to the underlying skin.”
“In extreme cases a cat may chew or bite, usually its feet or tail, causing trauma that may require, in the case of the tail, partial amputation. An affected cat may lick, chew, pluck or bite areas of hair or skin and the behaviour can be difficult to interrupt.“
The staff and volunteer were heartbroken to see their loving Bella reacting this way. Even with no clear fighting or trouble with other cats, something was making her uneasy.
So the decision was made to move her into foster care and out of the shelter to manage her stomach issues.
This proved to be an amazing turning point for Bella. Having more one-on-one human attention, her stresses disappeared! In a home environment, Bella has flourished. Amazingly, her life has improved so much so, she no longer requires medications for her IBS!
She does need to remain on her grain-free, chicken or turkey diet though for her stomach issues. So Bella is given 1 small can of wet food and dry food each day.
And with that, her quality of life has improved tremendously, leading to one happy and peaceful cat!
It’s so sad to think that that’s ALL her original family had possible do to turn her life around. Instead they took her away from the home she knew for the first few years of her life. But now, Bella has a chance at a new and better life.
The Cat Corner is highlighting her for November, which is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month!
She needs to find someone who will help her get to a healthy weight and ensure her diet keeps her IBS stomach issues in check.
“Bella has a sensitive stomach so is on a strict grain-free diet (Wellness brand dry food with no substitute treats). She will tell you it’s okay to give her other foods, but we know what it best for her.”
Although she is good with other cats, dogs and even children, her fur-ever home should make sure she avoids stress.
“She has fit in well with the other shelter kitties but would blossom in a home! She would do fine as an only kitty or with another mellow kitty,” posts The Cat Corner.
As an added bonus, one of Bella’s sponsors has already paid for her adoption fee! In other words, you how much this girl is loved and deserves a loving family in return. Stomach issues or not!
Please visit The Cat Corner’s website if you are interested in welcoming this fluffy, snuggly, and purrfect girl <3
“All of our available cats & kittens are spayed/ neutered, microchipped, tested for FIV/ Leukemia, current on vaccines, dewormings, flea treatment, and you also get transition food.”
“We do NOT do same-day adoptions. Please look over our adoption process page prior to coming to adopt. It will answer most, if not all, of your questions: www.TheCatCornerInc.com/adopt”
Not ready to adopt but want to support their rescue efforts? Please consider making an online donation.
“Every dollar helps us to continue to take in and save more homeless and unwanted pets that desperately need help. Our nonprofit rescue does not receive any government funding and strictly relies on kind hearted people like you! Go now to help: www.TheCatCornerInc.com/donate”
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!