After I wrote about Belle running away, something wonderful happened last Friday.
For some two weeks after she disappeared, Belle came back from time to time for food. Some days she shows up, some days she does not.
That Friday morning she came back. As usual, after makan she left. I went for my morning walk and five houses away, I saw a cat that looked like Belle (it was still dark and I could not see clearly).
I called out "Belle?" and sure enough, it was her and she ran towards me. I squatted down to pet her and I wondered, if I walked to the field, would she follow me like she did before? To my delight she did.
When I reached the field, I looked back and did not see Belle. I reckon she decided not to follow me all the way. So I commenced my walk around the field. Half way through my walk, I spotted Belle some 20 feet away. I called out "Belle Belle!" and she came running to me, just like a little puppy. Belle must have been a dog in her previous life hah..hah...
The sight of her running broke me and I burst into tears. I squatted down to pet her as she rubbed her head and face against my legs. Gosh, I was sobbing away and in that moment I strengthened my resolve to take Belle back and do right by her. I wanted to take her to the vet that day itself but I could not because I had some matters to attend to.
Needless to say, I had to abort the walk and on my way home, Belle again followed me like a sweet little puppy. She stayed outside the gate, making no attempt to follow me inside.
So. Saturday would be the day I take her to the vet, provided that she showed up in the morning.
I got her cage ready the night before.
The next morning she showed up and I had to lure her into the house. I did that by putting her feeding bowl at the doorway but Belle was hesitant. When she was halfway inside, I pulled her in and closed the door. She struggled a bit but relented to enjoy her meal.
All this time, Girl was outside enjoying herself on top of this shoe rack which she reclaimed after Belle left. I had initially set this up for Girl but Belle claimed it as hers.
At the vet's clinic, I spotted this arm guard under the examination table. It looked well worn and they possibly got this ready for Belle hah..hah..
The vet held her down while his assistant trimmed Belle's claws. There was a whole lot of hissing and screaming and Belle peed on the table.
The vet quickly lifted her and held her over the sink while his poor assistant had to clean up. Then they finished the job. I was terribly embarrassed for the trouble Belle caused.
It was shower time after that. I felt very bad for the vet as he had to struggle with a very hostile and vicious Belle.
Belle was exhausted after the ordeal and fell asleep in her carrier.
Back home, I kept her in the carrier while I let Girl feed first. From past experience, Belle had this nasty habit of going for Girl's bowl.
I had to feed her close to the door because that's where she ran to after being let out of the carrier. Girl's attempt to be friendly was met with aggression which I reckon was due to the stress Belle experienced at the vet's.
My partner after he was done showering asked me to go ahead with mine and he volunteered to take care of Belle. When I came downstairs later, wah, she was on the sofa with daddy right on the spot where I usually sit.
The next morning I was in a dilemma. I had set up a litter box for Belle (with tofu litter) but she was not taking it. It was understandable because Girl took many weeks to accept tofu litter. I had to let Belle outside to use her litterbox and I was worried, would she run away?
I took a leap of faith and opened the door. Off she went (in a hurry too) and I closed the door. I heard scratching noises outside which meant that Belle was using the litter box.
I fed Girl first and after she was done, I opened the door. There she was, Belle, waiting right outside the door. But she did not attempt to come inside. Again, I had to lure her with food.
In the evening I let her out again in case she needed to use the litter box (although from past experience she goes only once a day). Every day when I let her out, I worry.
But I thought to myself, why would she run?
She has reasonably comfortable digs.
I keep Belle inside the cage and I initially felt that it was cruel to confine her like this. But then again, those cats/dogs at the clinic that are boarded for treatment/recovery are also kept in cages in a clinical environment with no creature comforts.
Belle's cage is a lot more cosy in a homely environment, so I need not feel so bad about it. After her meals, I do let her enjoy some freedom in the house.
It is usually 15-20 minutes and then she willingly goes into her cage without much fuss. Unlike in the past, she does not climb on the sofa, limiting herself to her cosy corner.
Yesterday, she did not use the litter box at all and it got me worried although this had happened before (back then I assumed she did her business elsewhere).
Belle does these huge clumps of pee which makes me wonder how she manages to hold it all in for a whole day.
Everyday I clean and apply medication to Belle's ears and I hope that she will make a speedy recovery. Once she does and with her establishing a routine at home, I can let her outside to play during the day like Girl. I am sure some sunshine and exercise will do her good.
I will continue to keep her inside the cage in the evenings so that she does not get in Girl's way.
So far things seem to be working out quite well and I hope that Belle is happy and that she won't run away again.