Hi, everybody! I’m the new kitty in town!

Hi there. Siouxsie and Thomas said I could write this week’s post because, well, I think they wanted to take a nap. Anyway, my name is Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley, or Bella for short. I’m so excited to be here in my brand new forever home! I don’t think I’ve stopped purring since I got here!

Bella lounges on the top shelf of the cat tree

This is me on the giant cat tree!

Yeah, so anyway, here’s my story. Mama met me because she’s been volunteering at HART, a no-kill, volunteer-run shelter not too far from Paws and Effect HQ. She didn’t intend to adopt any cats, of course, but we all know how that goes. Tee hee hee! It was love at first sight, for both of us! It’s like I knew her from somewhere Before … but I don’t know where.

Bella sits on top of a cage in the diabetic cat room at HART.

This is a picture Mama took of me on the day we met.

Anyway, I came to HART the long way around. When I was a kitten, a nice family adopted me from another shelter in Maine. They loved me a lot and I had lots of fun … but then I got sick. I couldn’t digest my food and I started losing weight, and, well, I just wasn’t feeling very good. They took me to the vet to try to find out what was wrong. In fact, they took me a lot. And I had to have all kinds of blood tests. Eventually, they found out that I have diabetes.

They were sad because they knew a diabetic cat was just more than they could deal with. I don’t mind; I know it’s hard work to keep me healthy. Their vet called the shelter where I originally came from, and they said they didn’t have the ability to take care of a diabetic kitty — but they suggested that the vet call HART. The people at HART were glad to take me in. In fact, they’ve got several diabetic kitties there.

JaneA and Bella

Mama and me in the shelter. She’s kind of embarrassed because she’s having a Bad Hair Day.

A lady named Margaret, along with lots of other volunteers, helped me get better. I had to take shots for a while, but the food they were feeding me was high-protein and very low carbohydrate … just like a cat should eat … and I got better and I didn’t have to take shots anymore. But the shelter people knew it’s hard to get people to adopt cats with diabetes. They tried, but very few people wanted to take us. It wasn’t until Mama came along that I thought I might have a forever home again. But Mama applied to adopt me (yay!) and everybody said she’s a good kitty caretaker.

Bella hops into the carrier.

I was ready to go home right away! Especially because that carrier is so nice and fancy, and she even put her pajamas in there so I’d smell more like her family when I got home.

Before I could go home with her, though, Margaret gave her a big, long lesson on how to test my blood sugar and give insulin shots, and sent her home with lots of good information about what I should eat and so on. Margaret also sent me home with a super-fancy blood glucose monitor donated by Diabetic Cats in Need, and a whole bunch of other supplies like lancets, syringes and insulin donated by HART. Isn’t that awesome?

A set of diabetic testing supplies.

These are some of the things Mama has so she can take good care of me. There’s a glucose meter, testing strips, a whole bunch of lancets to poke holes in my ear for blood tests, and syringes to give me insulin shots.

Anyway, before Mama could bring me home, I had a growth spurt and I guess my little pancreas wasn’t ready for all that bigness, so I’m back on insulin for a while until everything gets sorted out. But Mama doesn’t mind. She says she’s happy to do whatever she has to do to make sure I stay healthy and get big and strong. *purrrrrrrrr*

Bella sniffs at the diabetic testing supplies

Even I’m happy about my testing supplies. And Mama’s pretty good at testing me, too. *purrrr*

So, Mama went to all this trouble of making me my own little space so I could get used to living with Thomas and Siouxsie, but I felt like I already knew them. I didn’t want to stay in that room, either. I wanted to explore the whole house!

Bella stands by the bedroom door, her tail up and ready to move in.

Nobody’s stopping me from checking out my new home!

Thomas and Siouxsie have been pretty nice to me, too. Thomas touched noses with me through the carrier when I first arrived, and as soon as I got out, he started chasing me around the house trying to sniff my bottom! Tee hee hee.

Well, of course, they have hissed at me a little bit, but that’s to be expected. I know we’ll all be good friends soon.

Now I’m all settled in and ready to start my new life in my new forever home with my new family. I’m so happy, I don’t think I’ve stopped purring since I got here! I’m the luckiest cat in the world!

Bella lounges on the top shelf of the cat tree.

See how relaxed I am? I love this place! *purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr*

Anyhow, I’m looking forward to meeting all of you through this site and our Facebook page or Twitter, and Mama says I can help teach people about diabetes in cats and how it’s really not all that hard to take care of a diabetic kitty. She says we can write about what helps me get better and what makes me sicker, and maybe by doing that I’ll be able to help all diabetic cats — especially the ones who are looking for forever homes, like I was.

I’m the luckiest, happiest kitty in the world! Yippeeeeeee!

  • Dee

    Welcome Bella! I know you are in good paws with your Mama, Siouxsie and Thomas! Blessed be precious one!

  • Colleen

    Welcome home Bella! You are precious & I know you’re excited & happy! And so is your family!

  • Jen

    Welcome home :) xx

  • http://www.sparklecat.com Sparkle

    Hi Bella! I already met you on Facebook, but I wanted to stop by and say how happy I am you wound up here! I think you will make an AWESOME advoCAT for diabetic kitties!

  • Jean

    It’s lovely to hear from you, Bella – love from ‘over the pond’ from Mumma J and all the Stevenson cats xxx

  • http://bunnyjeancook.blogspot.com/ Vicki Cook

    Yay Bella! I’m sure you’ll be best friends with Thomas and Siouxsie in no time. And you can help your mama feel better while she’s helping you get better.

    I met once of my kitties the same way. I was volunteering at a shelter after I lost my BFF (best furry friend) and had no intention of adopting so soon. But you know how it is, you meet the purrfect kitty, and you have to take her (or him) home. I’m so glad I did, and I bet your mama will be too!

    • Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley

      Oh, she is very glad — but she couldn’t possibly be as glad as I am! You never know what’s going to happen, or if anybody’s going to want to make you their special cat friend, when you’re in the shelter. I do miss my friends in the diabetic room and the nice people at HART, but I’m so grateful to have a forever home and I know that since Mama volunteers there every week, she’ll say hi to my sugar-kitty friends for me. :-)

  • Lois Curcio

    Welcome Bella! You are a beautiful kitty & I’m so glad that you met your Mama and now have a “forever home”

    Purrs & head bonks from Angel & Kensey!

  • http://randomfelines.blogspot.com Random Felines

    Welcome home Bella!!! Sounds like a wonderful match….we can’t wait to hear all about your adventures!

  • http://www.facebook.com/geminites mama Laurie

    Welcome, Bella!! You couldn’t have a better mama in the whole world! God put the 2 of you together for a reason! I’m so happy for both of you!! Take good care of mama, Thomas and Siousxie!! I know you will!!

  • http://consciouscat.net Ingrid King

    I’m so happy for all of you!

  • http://www.atonkstail.com Maxwell, Faraday & Allie

    We heardz about you busting in on Siousxie & Thomas – soudns like you were having none of that “hey let’s take it slow” bizness! MOL!!

    We is sooooooooooooo happy for you Bella!

    • Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley

      Tee hee hee. I know, right? :-)

  • C

    Congratulations on your home, Bella. It’s been waiting for you!
    And I’m glad you’ll tell us about taking care of a diabetic cat. I have a diabetic cat named Tyke, and I can’t give her hooman food because she won’t eat it. She wants her canned food & crunchies. I wonder if you can suggest a high-protein food for my Tykie?

    • JaneA Kelley

      Hi there. There are lots of low-carb canned foods available at just about any price point. At the shelter, they were feeding the diabetic kitties Fancy Feast (only SOME Fancy Feast recipes are low-enough carb for diabetic cats), while here at Paws and Effect HQ, I feed Evo grain-free canned food and commercially produced raw (e.g., Nature’s Variety, Stella & Chewy’s, RadCat). I’ve been feeding my cats this way for years.

      Dr. Lisa Pierson at CatInfo.org compiled a list of canned cat foods and their carbohydrates as percentage of calories, which you can find here: http://catinfo.org/docs/Food%20Chart%20Public%209-22-12.pdf

      This is the list from which the shelter chose nutritionally appropriate canned foods for its diabetic cats. The food you feed a diabetic kitty should, as I understand, get less than 10% of its calories from carbohydrates.

      The thing is, you’re almost certainly not going to be able to find a kibble that’s low enough in carbohydrates for diabetic cats. Even the grain-free kibbles tend to have other forms of carbohydrates like potatoes, peas or tapioca.

  • http://www.thecreativecat.net Bernadette

    We’re full of purrrrs for a special black kitty who has a home! We know you and your mama were meant to meet, and she’ll take super good care of you, and we’re also happy for your mama as we know how important kitty love is for humans. Once Thomas and Siouxsie work out their mandatory feline greetings we’re sure you’ll be cuddling together.

  • Phyllis

    Welcome, Welcome. I was so glad to read your story and know that you have a good home, new friends, and a great new Mom. I hope you get better and have a long and healthy life. My name is also Bella, it is a good name for a beautiful cat.

    • Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley

      Hi, Bella, nice to meet you! *purrrrr*

  • kathy welty

    What a lucky kitty you are Bella. It takes special people to care for a special kitty. I am sure you will have a long, happy life, with lots of good advice for all of us. XXXOOO

  • vagabond

    Welcome, dear Bella! I and my BFF’S -catz- are thrilled to hear of your great news! Your new furever momma certainly deserves a lovely lady like yourself, after all the pain and grief that she has had in the past year. Also, Siouxsie and Thomas need a break, too.
    JaneA- I am so happy for you and your new kitty. I mean it when I say you deserve a break. I hope you have a wonderful new year!

    • Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley

      Thank you so much. Let me just tell you, I’m not planning on going ANYWHERE! *purrrrrrr* But Dahlia and Kissy did visit me and they told me to expect Mama. :-)

  • http://www.mizzbassie.net MizzBassie

    Hi Bella and welcome! It’s pawsome to have a good forever home, isn’t it?

    Mommy would love to learn about taking care of diabetic kitties. None of us are but Frangi had high blood sugar after she got a steroid shot for her gingivitis, so we have a glucose meter at home. Mommy wants to know where you get blood drawn from. Mommy’s friend got it from Frangi’s vein but mommy doesn’t think she could do that herself. Purrrrrrrrrrrrrrs.

    • Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley

      Hi, MizzBassie. Mama pokes my little ears to get blood for my glucose tests. She’s still learning how to do it just right, so she usually has to poke me a couple of times before enough blood comes out to test my glucose. But I’m a good kitty, so I bear with it.

      This page on FelineDiabetes.com has information and links to videos on how to do ear-sticks and paw-sticks for blood glucose samples.

  • mishach

    What a wonderful kitty and what a wonderful and caring mama. Good luck dearest Bella, and welcome to our family on the net.

  • Anita Biers

    Welcome little kitty. I feed at a TNR colony at a local fairground (13 years now), and one of our new kittys (a young black kitty like yourself) was pretty sick so I took him home to get him well. Our organization neutered him and he still is recovering but he’s a real ball of fun and craziness. I plan on fostering him (well, you know how that ends up). Anyway, Andy, Little Bear, whatever I finally decide to name him, he’s calling this home now. Maybe forever, we shall see. Good luck, Bella, on your new home.

  • http://positivething.net/ Louise

    i always wanted to have a pure black cat.

  • http://www.riverfrontcats.com Riverfront Cats

    Hello Bella!
    Welcome to your new home. You are the luckiest kitty to be adopted by Janea. We know you’ll have the best care and she will teach all of us about diabetic kitties. Our founder has the opposite–severe hypoglycemia and has to eat high protein and low carbs constantly. She rarely talks about and hides it well. We look forward to following your stories!

    • Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley

      Awww, *purrrrrrrr* Thank you so much. *purrrrrrrrrrr*

  • http://peacelovenwhiskers.com Chris

    Congrats on being adopted little one.. you are so adorable. I’m glad you have a mama that’s going to make sure you stay healthy and some siblings to play with. The cat tree you’re on looks just like the one I have for my babies.

    Please tell you mama she is a wonderful person for taking you in… and that I’ve nominated her for 3 blogging awards.

    Have her go to my post to claim the awards. http://peacelovenwhiskers.com/2013/01/10/good-things-come-in-3s/


  • http://PawsandEffect Lynda And Oreo Noel

    Hi Belladonna Moonshadow Kelly, Welcome to your new forever home with Siouxsie and Thomas, I Want to tell you how Oreo found Her forever home with Me and my husband Dan. Well Back in April of 2011, We kept hearing a kitten crying out for its Momma and Momma kitty never went back for her baby. So I told Dan to go get the kitten It was under our trailer and it was so small so we took it to the local animal shelter to see if we could find out how old it was they said 3 or 4 weeks old. We found Momma and 4 others down at the front end of our trailer we let them grow up and run away none of the shelters wanted them. So we started bottle feeding it now it is a girl and She will be 2 years old in April this year. Her name is Oreo Tumbleweeds Noel. She is a black and white with very pretty markings . She is the only cat we have now. We had an older cat named Mittens who was 12 in our human years we had her put to sleep she was medically sick and couldn’t take care of her. She was pissing all over the carpeting and on our furniture. Sometimes she went into the litter box. Oreo was only 6months old when Mittens leftt. Oreo is using the litter box with no problems. She is Healthy. I am glad you got a forever home Bella. We both say Hi to Siouxsie and Thomas also Lynda , Dan and Oreo

  • Aimee

    Hi, Bella!
    So happy to welcome you to the Paws and Effect Family. :) You have got the best home out there and are very lucky! I am so looking forward to hearing more about you and looking forward to your first set of answers with Thomas and Siouxsie! Welcome home, Bella! Welcome home!

  • Gail

    Hi Bella – You are a very beautiful cat and you have found a really lovely home, with a Mama that cares for you and two new friends.
    thanks for your story – I actually learnt something. When Mama took you home she put you in a carrier with a pair of her PJ’s, so you would get used to the family smell. I never knew that, but it makes total sense.
    Looking forward to hearing more from you.
    One question – Bella what were your symptons, that led the Vet to diagnose the fact you had diabetes. I know the symptons for a human, as I am diabetic, but I am wondering about one of my beautiful cats – Sassenach.

    • Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley

      Thanks, Gail. The main symptoms I had were that I was always hungry but still losing weight. I was lethargic and generally ill because I had a bad UTI at the same time. But when I recovered from the UTI and I was still feeling badly, the vet ran a big complicated blood test on me and found out that my blood glucose was very high.

      Mama can tell that my blood glucose is too high when I start drinking lots and lots of water and peeing a lot.