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 Post subject: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 4:15 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 102
Well, friends, it has been a mere 6 months since I adopted my darling Bella. You may recall that I kept lamenting and hand-wringing about her not being "traditionally affectionate." Sherry justly called me out on that one. I am very happy to say that here, we have a love affair going on. I describe it in the following song:

"Hello, my Bella, Bella, Bella.
Hello, my pussy pussy cat."
Hello, my Bella, Bella, Bella.
I love you and you love me,
And that is that!"

The music (I've always been an amateur musician and for quite a while a song-writer) is catchy. Bella knows it, I think.

Recently we went to Italy and a wonderful couple came to live in our apartment to care for Bella and her little friend, my adorable rescue cat, Jamie. Both their photos are in the gallery of this forum. When we returned two nights ago, those folks told us that the cats never slept with them in our bedroom, even though Jamie came to the TV room to cuddle and watch the news with them. As for Bella, whom they loved and admired, she reportedly did what she wanted, independent and aloof, and was "sometimes with us, often not."

Well. Last night both Bella and Jamie spent the night at the foot of the bed. Unlike before, they weren't separated by three feet of space. They slept not nose-to-nose, but separated by only about a foot. At one point I woke up, 4:15 A.M., on jet lag. Bella, surprised, moved up along my body, couched herself just about at my armpit, and rested there for a few minutes. I felt ecstatic, and did nothing except give a gentle, smoothing pat very briefly along her flank. I respect her need for a little distance. I am not all over her. I give slow, long blinks and she returns them. She has on occasion extended her face, touched my nose and licked it.

There is a wonderful book, very pricey, with gorgeous photographs, THE LIFE & LOVE OF CATS, by Lewis Blackwell. $50. I sprang for it. Blackwell really knows his stuff. There are chapters on almost every topic you could imagine, including cats' healing powers, worshiped from the time the Egyptians dreamed up the goddess Bastet, queen of maternity and health, and now well-documented by scientists. Anyway, one of Blackwell's major points is the fascination we all have with cats as a combination of the wild and the domestic, which is Bengals in spades!

He is also quite intent on telling us we have to accept the "mystery" of cats -- their inability to be known by us in human terms. I am very glad to say that I have now completely accepted Bella and treasure her. She is a delight every day. And yes: I love her, and know she loves me. And that is that!!!


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Ellen, what a wonderful story you are sharing with us. I really think Bella missed you while you were gone! I am so happy to hear you had such wonderful people to take care of Bella and Jamie in your absence. Yes, cats are mysterious and absolutely NOBODY has been able to figure them out, which is what makes them so super special.


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:15 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 102
Oh, yes. She did miss me. I know I'm now her mommy. I've spoiled her rotten, however. She woke me up at 4:50 AM today by tapping my face with her paw. I groaned and rolled over. Another gentle tap. I groaned again. This time, with claws extended - but gently! - she put her paw on my head and scratched my scalp. I groaned again. Pulled the covers over my head. Now she started scratching at the sheets, as she used to do. So mommy got up. Mommy went to the kitchen. Bella leaped on the counter (her place for feeding; I know. I'm a bad person. I let her walk on my kitchen counter!) And she and her little buddy, Jamie, got their way. Ah, yes. Cats. I went back to bed. She then came back to do the same thing, letting me know: "Mommy! Why didn't I get a whole can? That's what you usually give me! How about a treat?" At that point and that point only, I locked her out. Who's top cat in this household, anyway?!!!


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2017 5:28 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Ellen, you are such a hoot!!! My Raiden walks on our counters and it's fine! Who cares? I'm not the cleanest housekeeper in the world and I'm sure there are more germs and stuff from the food my husband prepares than I could ever get from a cat. Ha ha!!

What I hate is the cats do not give up. When they want you UP, they will stop at nothing. Mine walks up to my face and cries, loudly! If I ignore him, he jumps down and hops up on my makeup table and proceeds to knock everything off onto the floor and cry while doing it. It is really just easier to get up the first time as you know you won't get to fall back asleep. Unfortunately, I am not top cat in my household! I'm really at the bottom. I hate locking Raiden out of any room. And I would have to lock the door since he can open them if I do not. LOL


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:42 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 102
You're a hoot, too, Sherry! Bella was tactful this morning. She awakened me at 6 A.M. Not 5:00, 5:30, or 5:45. What magnanmity and generosity. I'd been up a lot of the night agonizing over the Republican monstrosity known as "the tax bill." So now it's 11:30 A.M. Here I am lying in bed and typing this note. At my feet there is a beautiful little cat, her coat smooth as satin, grooming herself....Jamie is in the other room. This love affair is like a seed that came into my life a half-year ago and that began putting forth a little shoot, then shy buds that are now beginning to bloom, petals unfolding in tender radiance. I have never before had an experience like this with a cat. All of my other cats - starting with my first, Sophia, a Siamese I adopted when she was 5 months old and I was 21, when I was just about to graduate from college. I think I've told the story about my ignorance about my responsibilities for her, and my decades of feelings of guilt. My next cat was a gift from a friend whose boyfriend said he'd ditch her if she didn't ditch the little Burmese with her middle-ear problem. Cocoa was quick to attach to me and was famous around my circle of young friends until she finally died -- at probably 15 years of age. Max and Phineas were two Abyssians my first husband and I adopted when they were around a year old. I was super-busy and at that time didn't care as much as I have in recent years about having "lap cats." They amused us constantly and they did sleep with us. Next came Spookerman, the old roue tomcat I inherited from a friend who was moving to London. He had feline AIDS and was pathetically grateful, and super-affectionate, when I took him in. He died only a couple of months later when I moved him to another apartment in another neighborhood. Next came Flower, whose IQ on the cat spectrum was probably Einsteinian. She was indoor-outdoor. She'd never been hit by a car, knowing how to avoid any traffic in the two-block Boston neighborhood that was her patrol. She knew how to climb trees and get down from them. She didn't put up with **** from anyone or anything - I saw her swat a dog with great economy of motion, in our apartment, yes, while she was reclining on her back and the pooch, a friend's pet, approached her. There were our three Siamese, whom we adopted when they were kittens - that was an easy one: I sat on the floor cuddling them and singing to them, for months (I was an editor and could work at home), and they bonded completely to me, regarding me as their mother forever after. And now --- I have been granted the love of a cat who belongs to a species notorious for its semi-wildness and its non-lap-cat character. I have to have earned that love. I feel honored!


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:07 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Ellen, you are obviously a cat person! I've had cats most of my life as well, but just plain domestic cats that usually found me. Raiden is the only bengal I've owned and will be the only bengal I own. I was honestly not prepared for what they bring to the table, even after reading up on them. I love him to pieces, but he is exasperating at times, gets me up several times during the night now -- please, let the subfreezing weather kick in as he will sleep through the night since he does not want to get up from his warm bed. Thing is, I don't want to get up out of my warm bed either. I just had to get up and give Raiden a tummy tickle. He knows all he has to do is lift his leg to reveal that soft fur and I'm right there. He is spoiled rotten, especially when he wants one at 2:30 a.m. I am the most sleep deprived cat owner on earth, I'm sure.


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Sat Dec 02, 2017 6:53 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:45 pm
Posts: 102
Sleep-deprivation queen? There will have to be a word invented for feline-provoked sleep deprivation! I'll think on it. ASD: Ailurophile Sleep Deprivation. Is that fancy enough? I was going to go to a demonstration today at 1:15 PM against the theft of public land and can't because I'm too exhausted to get out of bed.


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:57 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Sounds like something important that you should attend, Ellen! As long as it is a peaceful demonstration.

Raiden woke me up at 2:30 a.m. The other cat was sleeping. Raiden proceeded to yowl and jump up on everything, knocking things over and off. About 3:30, he finally decided to lay back down and go to sleep. The other cat slept through the night! And normally, he is outside at night. Now, after our morning walk, Raiden is once again settled down. Last evening he was bonkers, but I figured out it was due to the catnip banana that arrived yesterday and he was enamored with. It's like giving sugar to a toddler!


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 10:13 am 
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Senior Bengal

Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2016 12:01 am
Posts: 61
Lyra and Rafiki are always on my worktops, or in the dishwasher..Rafi is particularly taken with the dishwasher. These two are so totally different to each other, but so similar also. Lyra likes her comfort, and is happy to sleep the day and night away, Rafi also..at the moment is also happy to sleep all night. Rafi is not going to be a lap cat, but she is a shoulder percher, which makes me laugh. :biggrin:


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:41 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Please be super careful with the dishwasher. One bengal owner put her freshly washed clothes in the dryer, shut the door, turned the dryer on and went to bed. In the morning, she found her queen IN the dryer with the dried clothes. So tragic. You just NEVER know. I always keep my dryer door closed and when I'm using it, always check to make sure Raiden is nowhere near it. Accidents happen, tragic ones.


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 7:56 pm 
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Bengal Cat

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 29
Sherry wrote:
Please be super careful with the dishwasher. One bengal owner put her freshly washed clothes in the dryer, shut the door, turned the dryer on and went to bed. In the morning, she found her queen IN the dryer with the dried clothes. So tragic. You just NEVER know. I always keep my dryer door closed and when I'm using it, always check to make sure Raiden is nowhere near it. Accidents happen, tragic ones.


Ugh that is so heartbreaking. I always check the washer/dryer/dishwasher/stove before use, one snuck into the fridge once. They can be stealthy and you just never know.


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 Post subject: Re: BELLA UPDATE!
PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 5:27 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8150
Indeed, bengals are stealth! Mine has never shown interest in any appliances, but that doesn't mean that I don't check to make sure he isn't in one. Our refrigerator and freezer are so full all the time, he could not fit anywhere, so little worry there. I don't use my dishwasher. The oven? My hubby does all the baking and he is right there all the time. It's the washer and dryer I worry about since his litter box is in the utility room with them. But, I have always been super careful. I still recall the kitty that got washed in the washing machine with the clothes and came out alive. Bengals are just super curious as well. My other kitty could care less about anything. He sleeps through the worst of thunderstorms and noise. Raiden, the second he hears anything, his little head pops up to see what is going on.


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