Tarra, Bella, and Cleopatra

Precious friends come in all sizes, shapes and breeds.

Our old brown tabby suffered a spinal cord injury similar to Bella’s this week.  We’ve been nursing her around the clock, with kids watching anxiously from a distance.

It’s been a harrowing few days with lots of memories and introspection and tears.  Who knew a cat could steal so many hearts in a home?  So, as we wait and hope, this segment came up and struck at the heart this week.

–Beetle Blogger

From CBS.com–Tarra and Bella:

Tarra and Bella have been close for years — but no one really knew how close they were until recently. A few months ago Bella suffered a spinal cord injury. She couldn’t move her legs, couldn’t even wag her tail. For three weeks the dog lay motionless up in the sanctuary office.

And for three weeks the elephant held vigil: 2,700 acres to roam free, and Tarra just stood in the corner, beside a gate, right outside that sanctuary office.

“She just stood outside the balcony – just stood there and waited,” says Buckley. “She was concerned about her friend.”

Then one day, sanctuary co-founder Scott Blais carried Bella onto the balcony so she and Tarra could at least see each other.

“Bella’s tail started wagging. And we had no choice but bring Bella down to see Tarra,” Blais says.

They visited like that every day until Tarra could walk. Today, their love — and trust — is stronger than ever. Bella even lets Tarra pet her tummy – with the bottom of her enormous foot.

They harbor no fears, no secrets, no prejudices. Just two living creatures who somehow managed to look past their immense differences.



  1. Delirious said,

    January 17, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    We had a cat that suffered the same type of injury. We still don’t know if he broke his back, or had a heart attack/ stroke. The doctor said it also could have been caused from a blood clot. Our cat didn’t seem to mind his injury, but would pull himself around the house with his front two paws. He would even pull himself in to the cat box. But then came the time that he could not longer get to the cat box. We decided that was when we needed to have him put down. The weird thing is that this cat really only liked one member of our family. He didn’t want to be petted by anyone else. But even though he was so snobbish, we all missed him and had a hard time dealing with his loss.

  2. beetlebabee said,

    January 17, 2009 at 3:53 pm

    Our kids found a lost dog, a dalmatian beauty, really nice dog. We put her in the back yard while we called the owner and our Cleo had came wandering through unaware and got bitten and shaken before we could pull the dog off.

    No good deed goes unpunished right? The kids felt terrible, they had no idea such a nice dog would chase cats.

  3. Lillian said,

    January 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    ooo, that doesn’t sound good, dalmations are pretty big.

  4. beetlebabee said,

    January 17, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Yeah, we pretty much thought she wasn’t going to make it, her nerves were severed, and the leg was pretty macerated with a bad bite wound. She looked dead for about two days, just barely breathing and sipping liquids through an eyedropper. She’s supposed to be isolated in a quiet room, but she was just dying slowly up there, so we made a corner for her downstairs where she can watch everything that goes on and she’s lost that glassy glazed-over look and is starting to take interest in life again.

    She’s normally quite a character, cranky and ornery as all get out, and super intelligent. I am surprised how much I miss her already. She’s got a 50/50 chance of pulling through, but even so, they say her one leg will not work again. We’re hopeful.

  5. Stephanie said,

    January 17, 2009 at 5:22 pm


    I’m so sorry that happen. I hope she gets better.

  6. { Lisa } said,

    January 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    So sorry to hear about your sweet pet, thats always hard to handle. The story about the elephant and the dog is one of the sweeter things I have heard in my life! how neat!

  7. beetlebabee said,

    January 18, 2009 at 2:54 am

    This afternoon Cleo dragged herself from her bed in the corner to sit under my desk and rest her paw on my feet while I Beetle away. Many a kitten has been born under this desk, but none like my green eyed beauty. She still has to be fed one drop at a time, but her dear little crotchety self is coming back. What a welcome sight.

    Remind me when this is all over to complain about the vet bills and pontificate about quality of life issues and good old fashioned “let nature take it’s course” farm ethics….

    But for now, back to the eye dropper.

  8. beetlebabee said,

    January 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Cleo update Monday:

    Yesterday I walked in to see everything as normal EXCEPT for one important thing….there was a wet spot in the kitty litter box….HORRAY! I’ve never been so excited to see a dirty litter box.

    She also started eating again. It goes in…it comes out….plumbing works!

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