Thursday, November 21, 2002

Fare Thee Well, Lady Bela

Some of you may have already heard that we had to give up our stray kitty, Bela. It's really a sad chain of events that began after Rick's asthma attack that landed him in the hospital.

We realized that we should think about removing at least one of the cats from the house, as the doctor seemed to think the catalyst for his attack was household allergens, most probably our cats. So we started looking around for new homes for Bela. Unfortunately, most people we knew are also allergic or had plenty of kitties of their own. Things began to get a little desperate when we realized that Bela was the culperate of most if not all of the unappreciated messes on our bed and throughout the apartment. She also began to cry in the middle of the night. I thought she might be in heat, but she didn't seem to show any other signs. She'd only stop crying if either Rick or I picked her up and pet her. These behaviors resulted in many sleepless nights and multiple "emergency" loads of laundry/trips to the dry cleaner (down comforter).

The morning after the third night of back-to-back messes and caterwauling, Rick decided he had had enough. Although he had to work in the morning, he had stayed up the whole night with Bela to keep her quiet just so I could get some sleep. That's marital dedication, but we both realized regardless of how much we liked the kitty that she couldn't stay with us another day. He tried to take her to the APL after work, and while they took her, they warned him that Bela would be "unadoptable," since she was over three months and also sprayed.

"Unadoptable" pets, at most shelters, unless they have a "no-kill" policy, stay at the shelter for about a week, and then they are sent to the pound. Animals at the pound are normally kept for a week and then euthanized. We feel terrible that we had to make this decision, but we also feel it was for the best. Not sure if Bela would have felt the same way, but I can't imagine she was very happy outside, sick and with fleas. We consol ourselves with the idea that she had a comfortable six weeks with us and died painlessly.

Poor Bela. She will be missed.

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