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Bella Kitty

This fall, when the deer mice had invaded the house and the barn and every other building they could find a way into, I decided to go to the shelter and get the kitty I found there who looked most likely to want to hunt mice. 

Now, we have have-a-heart traps up the ying yang (about 7 of them) and in October they were becoming full about every two hours.  We would find ourselves running two or three traps down the road a half mile (deer mice have a quarter mile radius) and leaving the mice at a rock formation we call "the mouse condo" and then running home with empty traps, cleaning them out, filling them with peanut butter, putting them down to hear them spring literally about 2 minutes later.

I had had enough.  Mouse trapping had become a full time activity.  I wanted a mouser. 

Now, Oreo is not a mouser.  She is a very prim, proper and posh Norwegian Forest Cat with a thick white undercoat and perfectly symetrical black dorsal pattern that simply shouts about her feline nobility.  She does not hunt mice.  She eats Fancy Feast out of a crystal dish.

(Umm, it's actually Corning wear - but I don't tell her that.) 

She will, however, catch a mole if it wanders into the house and moves slowly enough.

A mouser was important, necessary, a needed ranch companion! 

So I rushed off to the city shelter and into the cat section and there she was.  Bella.  A grey tabby Siberian-type with huge paws and a thoughtful way of using them to relate and explore the world.

Bella had been born into a home of 86 cats living in two bedrooms.  She was just past the cute kitten stage at 6 months of age and she looked extremely intelligent.  Which was good. 

Because deer mice are darn intelligent little beings!  Some of them can get into a have-a-heart trap, eat the peanut butter, poop all over the place, and get out again, pooping even more all over the place because they've just eaten the peanut butter!

So, I chose Bella.

And she really is darn cute, and exceedingly smart, and really wants to hunt mice and birds, and anything that moves... like our seemingly endless supply of flies - because we do live on "Horsefly" mesa.

BUT (and this is a big but)  -  she can't be left alone in a room by herself!

I failed to consider the early development of a cat who was literally living on top of and beside many, many other cats all day long, every day, for nearly six months.  If Bella finds herself in a room without another person, dog, or cat - she feels something is incredibly wrong, and the result of this is:

"Yoooooooowwwwlllll, meeeeeOOOWWW, YEEEOWWWWWLLLL!"

It is absolutely heart wrenching to hear the sound of her loneliness when she is only 6 feet away through a doorway and has just realized she can't see another living creature anywhere.

Other than that, she is one of the most well-adjusted, sociable, up for anything (including snuggling with big dogs)  kitties I have ever met.

She just can't be left alone in the barn to hunt mice.


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