#ShelterSunday: The Ballad of Beautiful Bella

Bella was adopted as a kitten from a shelter in Maine, and around 6 months of age she became increasingly lethargic but also increasingly hungry. No matter how much she ate, she was still losing weight. After a variety of tests that gave no answers, the veterinarian decided to “cast a wide net” and ordered a blood panel and urine test normally done for senior (older) cats to see if Bella had problems that standard testing might not catch.

The veterinarian’s instinct was spot on, as the tests revealed that Bella was diabetic. Her guardian didn't know if she could manage the care of a diabetic cat, either physically or financially, and she almost had Bella put to sleep. But her veterinarian convinced the guardian to give her a chance, and called HART of Maine, a rescue organization which frequently accepts diabetic cats and takes very good care of them. HART took Bella into their program and quickly got her into diabetic remission. 

A potential adopter met her in December of 2012 and fell in love with her right away, but before her new forever mama could take her home, Bella had a growth spurt and had to go back on insulin. Bella’s new mama still wanted to adopt her, so HART's long-time "diabetic den mother" showed her how to do home testing and administer insulin – it much easier than most people think it will be! 

Diabetic Cats in Need (DCIN, our January Monthly Mojo recipient) and HART have a great partnership for rescuing and supporting diabetic cats, especially those who are about to be euthanized in other shelters. Thanks to DCIN, in January of 2013 Bella was sent home with free testing equipment and a vial of Lantus insulin. 

Mama had grand plans of separating Bella from her other cats and slowly getting them used to Bella’s presence, but she scuttled all of those plans when she ran out of "her" room with her tail held high, and immediately touched noses with Thomas. They've been best buddies ever since.

Thomas and Bella

Thomas and Bella

Bella’s mama already fed her other cats a commercially prepared raw food diet, and she worked closely with Bella’s vet to monitor her blood glucose levels. About two weeks after going to her new forever home, Bella went back into remission, and she has been "off the juice" ever since then, even through stressful occasions like a cross-country move (by car) and getting to know a new cat friend. 

Bella's a "perma-kitten," so full of joy and silliness – she makes her mama laugh and fills her heart with love. Bella is another great case study in how feline diabetes does not need to be a death sentence…nor are diabetic cats destined to stay on insulin forever! 

You can help DCIN to fulfill their mission by contributing to their “Gift That Gives More” campaign. Just $5 buys a key piece of diabetic cat treatment equipment; $25 provides 100 blood glucose test strips and $50 provides a full “starter kit” for new clients. Every dollar you donate goes directly to DCIN and there is NO credit card or processing fee charged. Every donation helps!  

You can also help DCIN by purchasing one of our “TNR Cat Buddy” toys (packed with premium catnip)! $5.00 of every Cat Buddy sold will go directly to DCIN.