Our Bella passed away around 9:30 AM this morning.
Approximately one year ago, she was surrendered to ORA together with two other cats and two puppies by a teenager separating from her boyfriend. This young lady truly loved animals, and she had taken good care of her pets, but unfortunately she failed to recognize at the time of impulsive adoption that her life was too unstable to “collect” so many animals.
Two of the cats, a mom and daughter, were immediately spayed and then fostered out to a single woman who ended up adopting both of them. The two puppies became TV celebrities after Corinne Thaw took them to CP24’s Animal House Calls and both of them were adopted shortly after their television appearance.
But there was no home for Bella.
Bella was timid, very timid, she did not like to live with other cats, and she did not look very healthy. She had an unusually large belly. She was checked by a veterinarian upon her arrival to our sanctuary but nothing abnormal was detected at that point.
However, soon after she developed an acute dermatitis and the vet placed her on a daily administration of Prednisolone (a corticosteroid). The dermatitis cleared up after several months so Bella was weaned off of the Prednisolone, and she seemed to be fine. She was eating well although she always remained quite timid, and clearly she did not like other cats. We were keeping an eye on her health progress with the hopes of eventually being able to place Bella up for adoption to a loving home. For a short time, our hopes were almost answered because she seemed to be doing so well. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago, she seemed incredibly lethargic and one day, she just stopped eating.
Rushing her to the vet, she was diagnosed with an advanced form of abdominal lymphoma. I thought to myself, Bella is only 2 ½ year old and soon she will leave us! It is a different plane of sadness altogether having to lose a baby to cancer, but we kept her as comfortable as possible, and maintained her on loving palliative care throughout her last days with us. The vet speculated that likely Bella's cancer is “old dated,” but that the daily dosage of Prednisolone kept it at bay; when Bella was taken off the Prednisolone, the cancer started growing again.
Several of our volunteers became particularly fond of Bella as she was so little and looked so defenseless, but she was also very pretty. We are devastated for having to lose our sweet, delicate, beautiful Bella.
Claudia Vecchio, Founder/Volunteer Chairperson
ORA-Organization for the Rescue of Animals