charming bella. never, ever have i been a cat person. but, my time here in ajijic, has been shared with two cats. damyn and bella. damyn was relentless. always on the kitchen counter. always underfoot. always pursuing an altercation with the neighbor feline. not cuddly by any stretch. he could hold his own with the dogs, but i never saw him really interact with bella. she spent her days hidden under the large, cluttered table in the art studio. she would shrink away from any comfort i was willing to give her. surfacing to be fed, she would immediately retreat to some dark corner, to avoid all forms of attention. when damyn died suddenly, bella evolved into a different creature. she became friendly, wandering the house looking for someone to purr at. in the early mornings, she would play very sweetly with the puppy, nuzzling him and circle-eighting her way through his legs. she was suddenly engaged. always sitting within reach, she would roll on her back in expectation of belly rubs. whole conversations were had with her and i said on more than one occasion, she is the cat that might make me love cats. after a particularly lengthy episode with the resident caninie bullies, she ascended to the roof and stayed there for a day and a half. perched above the kitchen, she would call to us, meowing her frustrations with her companions. she would implore of me to do something and scold them for their treatment of her. there wasn’t much I could do. they are dogs, after all. her silhouette against the blue sky was too irresistible. i snapped a photo. i begged her to come down from there and eventually she did. this image is a fan favorite and framed vertically, viewers often chuckle when they realize she is there at the bottom. my muse.