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Friends of Felines Rescue Center, Defiance, OH 43512

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Bella -- The Brave

Oh, the preparations are coming along quite nicely.  I can’t believe all the work everyone is doing.  They are making baskets, signs, even bumper stickers; all for my special day!  My Jubilee is fast approaching.  I will be 10 years old on September, 1.  And everyone is getting ready for the celebration. 

At first, I really didn’t understand why it was being celebrated so early.  But if June 24th is the day momma Jacci has chosen to honor me, well that’s just fine with me.  Everyone is just so excited.  My royal subjects are just so excited.  Oh, there’s Connie.  Hi Connie, getting ready for the big day I see!

Angie, how are you dear.  So good of you to put all this work into celebrating my big day!  You’ve been working so hard, you’ve almost made me sweat.  You are just too good.  I will remember you, I really will. 

Who would have thought that when I first arrived her at the young age of 6 weeks old that 10 years later the whole community would come together for me!

Oh, I remember the day I came here.  October 13, 2002.  A friend of momma Jacci’s was traveling down this country road and found me just lying in the middle of the road.  I was just lying on the yellow line.   When he got out of his car, I remember him saying “oh, poor thing, to be killed on the road.”  I raised my head and let him know “I’m alive…help me, please”.  So he stopped, picked me up ever so gently and brought me to momma Jacci.

Momma Jacci often reminds me of that day when this big guy cradled me in his arms and brought me home, all broken up.

I remember telling her, “I never saw the car coming.  It just hit me hard and kept on going.  I was really all broken up.  My right rear leg was, well it was mush I tell you.  I had compressed vertebrae.  I don’t really know what that is, but I was told I had it, and it wasn’t pleasant.  I guess it causes my tail to do things and also makes my left rear leg very, very weak.  I just don’t really have much use of it.  I only weighed 1 and half pounds.  So they bandaged me all up to stabilize me for the big surgery.

I was given lots of medication for the pain and swelling.  The swelling on my vertebrae decreased enough for my surgery.  They had to take my right rear leg off, which is ok because it really was mush, did I mention that?

Momma Jacci always tells me I was just the best little patient she ever had.  I showed my “royal” qualities very early on.  One must grin and bear the unpleasantries in life and just keep a stiff upper lip in the face of adversity. 

It took me a long time to recover from my injuries.  Of course I first had to learn how to get around.  With no rear right leg and a left one which only works a little I had to figure some things out.  I had a choice to make to not move or to move; I chose to move.  I use my left rear leg to “lift off” as much as possible.  I have perfected the “scoot”.  It really is the most efficient use of my body.  I simply cannot rely on others to pick me up and put me somewhere.  I must get there on my own.  I simply insist on it.

Over the years, I’ve heard many doubt my abilities.  I’ve heard them say “oh, she’ll never climb up there”.  Wanna bet?  Give me a challenge and I will meet that challenge.  I remember well, that the man who found me could have just said “she’s too far gone” and drove away.  He did not give up on me.

Momma Jacci could have looked at me and said, “She’s too broken, she cannot be saved.”  She did not give up on me.  How could I give up on me?

Momma Jacci told me early on that if I had the strength and courage to get stronger to climb any mountain, scoot any distance, overcome any obstacle, that she would let me have a home furever.  That I could stay and do as I pleased.  That I would never fear anyone giving up on me.  So I looked at her and said “I accept your terms.  I will never give up on me.  Never.

Put up a condo and I will climb to the top, if I choose.  Put a plate of food 20 feet away and I will scoot over to it, if I choose.  I will show anyone who doubts me that I am up for any physical challenge because my spirit will never be broken.  If I inspire others with my bravery, well so be it.  If I must be stubborn to achieve my goals, then so be it.  Nothing will stop me.  Nothing. 

Oh, there have been obstacles.  Last year, for example I had a bad time.  I got hurt and infected and developed a severe pressure sore on my back end.  It was bad, I tell you.  But there was no way I was going to miss my jubilee this year.  Nope, never crossed my mind.  I had surgery, even had one of those stupid cone things on my head for a few days.  But I overcame it.  I followed doctor’s orders and recovered quite nicely.  And during my recuperating, I even found the strength to me a foster mom to some little orphans that needed some extra attention.  That Dhana and Weasley owe me big time.

I have a soft spot for the kittens, I admit it.  Some are just annoying, but the special ones I do take to, especially the orphans and those that are sick.  Sometimes that can be heartbreaking when they are sick.  But I’ve been there, at death’s door and know that I wasn’t given up on, so I don’t give up on the young ones.  Even when I know they won’t get better, I will make sure what time they have is filled with love and compassion.  I remember my little friend Albert.  He was a fighter, a brave soul.  He touched me greatly and even though I knew his time was going to be short with us, I wanted him to know love.  You see we may be friends for a short time or for many years.  It doesn’t matter how long.  Whatever time we have with those we love we must show them we care.  We must rise above all the challenges and make sure we tell them simply and without hesitation, “you are my friend.  And when you are gone, I will miss you, I will mourn you and I will forever be grateful that you were in my life.”

I don’t remember when my title was bestowed upon me.  People just started calling me “Queen” one day and I rather liked that title, so I allowed it to be.  I thought it quite fitting.  A Queen does not allow others to tell her what to do, she does as she sees fit.  And she expects others to act in a certain manner towards her.  I really am the Queen.  I do not ask much of others, but there are certain things I simply must insist on.

I insist on my baby food.  It must be given to me in a jar, not on a plate.  A plate of baby food is, well it is for babies.  I prefer to have a jar so I may dip my paw in it and feed myself.  I do this because I can.  I do this because I want to.  I do this because it is what I do.  And I will go where I want and have what I want, it is that simple.  I am the Queen, there can be no other way.

I will not take any back talk from anyone.  Cross me and you will be dealt with.  I am not a violent cat, but cross me wrong and I will smack you.  Oh, I’m not like that moody Badu, I only smack when it is called for.  Mess with my baby food jar and it will be called for.

A few years ago, a web cammer sent me a giant marshmallow bed.  I immediately knew it was for me.  It is just the right comfort level for me.  I must have my poof.  I will share it with the kittens, but it is mine and they all know it, for I am their Queen.

Oh, and I am world wide famous.  Not only do I have hundreds of viewers who tune in every day to see me, but last year I was featured on a television show broadcast around the world called Right this Minute.  My segment was called Bella the Brave.  How fitting for me.  I was a hit.  When I got sick, my fan base rose to unimaginable levels.  I received more get well cards than any cat had ever received.  In fact they had to hang my cards up on a big wall, there were so many of them.  I really am beloved around the world.  I have friends in the UK, Spain, Germany, Amsterdam, even Washington State.  There’s a web cammer who traveled all the way from the great Pacific Northwest just to meet me.  Her name is Laurie and she sends me letters all the time.  She says she’s my biggest fan.  And why not, I am beloved, for I am the Queen.

I don’t go on public speaking tours, like some royals.  But if I could, well I would simply insist on telling all my subjects, keep your cats indoors.  Spay or neuter them.  Do not let them bring babies into this world that will be left to fend for themselves and end up on a county road left for dead after being run over.

But I will get that message out.  Along with the message of never give up where there is hope.  Never give in where there are challenges.  Have faith in yourself and move forward, whether it’s by walking or scooting.

And now I am being properly celebrated.  All the preparations are taking place.  It really will be a wonderful day.  Oh, there they are going to hang the sign up for me.  I wonder what it will say.  Queen Bella’s 10 year Jubilee celebration, June 24th, 2012.  Oh, let’s see.  WHAT, Cat-A-Thon, June 24th, 1:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Wait that should say Queen Bella’s Jubilee.  Oh, momma Jacci, come here please, we need to talk.  Hey, are you listening to me?  Oh, I will follow you, I will not be stopped, never, ever.