Kittens, these days! I do believe they’ve created a new kind of cat for this new kind of decade. As crazy, as disturbing, as disorienting last year was -- the arrival of kitten Bella in August didn’t provide the balm for the soul that we’d hoped. Nope, she was -- and still is -- “hell on wheels.”

A whirling dervish of mayhem and destruction, all the while seducing with her sweet girlish face, full of innocence and beguile. If there ever was a feline Jezabel, Bella is she. (Strange, the similarity in names.)

Bella jan 2021

Michael and I are considerably older than we were when we raised kittens from birth.

The first we’d dealt with in years was Bernie, rescued from Big Lots in 2016. His antics were amusing riotous fun among a houseful of elderly felines who were at first horrified by the impudent upstart, then later more forgiving, and finally accepting of the chubby boy who purred his way into their good graces.

One by one the elders passed on, and for a while it was just Bernie and Mojo the dog. In August, a neighbor arrived at our doorstep with tiny Bella, flea infested but charming. We took her in, no questions asked. Mojo passed in September, and since then it’s just the two cats.

Since her arrival there’s literally no place safe in this entire house. Open a cabinet, she’s in it. Leave a drawer ajar and she climbs right in. Last week, I heard an unearthly yowling, and it was Bella. She’d managed somehow, to wedge her little body into the washing machine. Not inside where you throw your clothes in -- no, she shoehorned her way outside the drum into its inner workings, so when I opened the lid expecting her to jump out, there was no Bella. Moments later a small head emerged from the tight, narrow space between the drum of the machine and it’s casing.

One day as I removed food from the side-by-side freezer, I turned around to place something on the counter. The heavy door whooshed close, but I didn’t think about it because I was getting ready to close it anyway.

Suddenly, an ugly thought floated to mind and I ran back and jerked open the door. Sure enough, there was Bella, perched on a rack, frosty and wide-eyed. She hadn’t made a sound but I’m unsure whether I would have heard her or not. That incident frightened the daylights out of me!

We’ve never had a cat like Bella. Prancing on the highest ledges of doors and windows, leaping silently atop the refrigerator so she can crash down into whatever meal I’m preparing at the stove. Daily she tears around the house in unstoppable laps, leaping, flying and knocking down everything in her path. We didn’t put up a Christmas tree this year.

We call this activity “wilding.” Next month she’ll be spayed. We’re told that’ll calm some of her most impulsive instincts. We shall see. Meanwhile, I’ll continue to doublecheck the appliances if she suddenly goes missing.

Contact Deborah Camp for comments or suggestions at deborah.camp@comcast.net.

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