Bella was a kitten born into a small litter on a farm in Montana. She was well taken care of along with the rest of the litter. All were allowed to play, yet they were taught how to hunt as well. When their owners put the litter up for adoption she was quickly adopted by a young girl and her family, being the opinion of that young girl as the cutest kitten in the litter. Bella was only just weaned from her mother when the family selected her to move to the city with them. There, she would no longer be required to feed upon small vermin, yet was still entitled to the occasional bowl of milk. So life was good.
One of Bella’s notable exceptions of expected kitten behavior was her lack of a desire to play. That does not mean to imply that she was lazy, because she was still active. She just never showed any enthusiasm for the games other kittens loved to play. Perhaps it grew from her being the only female in her litter, and the male kittens always clumsily jostling her out-of-the-way in pursuit of a piece of string or a laser pointer. She may have never overcome that fear directed from her need for physical safety. She had even seen the others get banged around by falling gates and things, and avoided such dangers smartly.
Normally Bella was quite content to laze around all day, grooming herself for hours on end. This was normal activity for a feline such as herself, even as it took up a quarter of her days. But occasionally her grooming would take precedence over other activities to the point when it no longer seemed functional. Such grooming seemed more often to take place during Bella’s sulking periods, which occurred more often in the wintertime when she was unable to go outdoors. Ironically, Bella’s grooming seemed requisite to any outdoor excursions, and hours of grooming regularly led to wanting outdoors.
Bella never completely overcame her instinct to hunt, perhaps as a way to hold on to the memory of her mother, as could be expected of the young of barn cats. She explored the expansive territory her new family’s neighborhood allowed her to claim, and would often bring home birds and rodents to proudly place them at the displeased young girl’s feet. Such hunting kept Bella lean, until the young girl began to feed her cat food. Bella remained self-sufficient, though, and learned how to feed herself with minimal meowing for her occasionally inattentive owners. But she was otherwise unneedy, and could sustain herself whenever her owners were gone for periods on family vacations and the like.
Bella was a solitary creature that disliked the invasive company of certain other types of cat. Very kind and lovable to her adopted family, Bella could become quite aggressive and territorial with the other cats that lived nearby. Though her territory expanded for well over many blocks, she was most territorial near her owners’ home. But her owners and all of the little girl’s friends always praised Bella for being a ‘nice girl’, and they never quite understood why she insisted on fighting any other feline who entered the household. Quite different perspectives, indeed, for the human and feline populations.
Bella had never gotten along with other felines, particularly other kittens of the female sex. Fights would break out often whenever she was in their presence, whether out in the neighborhood or whenever the girl’s friends brought their own kittens over to ‘play’. Biting and scratching were common, though such behaviors are more characteristic of male cats. And the behavior worsened as she got older, perhaps because of decreasing tolerance. Yet Bella’s owners found this to be quite unusual for the same kitten whose high-pitched purrs charmed so many of the household’s human visitors. Bella eventually lived a long life, and even had a litter of her own before they were given away to a little girl and her family.