A picture is worth a thousand words, or 774 to be exact, generated by the discovery of a cat wandering through the corner of a photo taken when learning to use my tripod.  After Thanksgiving 2021, I was fiddling around with my new tripod and struggling with the 90-degree arm.  I was testing the setup and lighting when I snapped this shot.  After taking hundreds of photos while preparing a recipe, I troll through the kaleidoscope of images in Lightroom.  I delete the pictures that are out of focus, too dark, or feature my son’s latest lego construction project.  How this photo was not deleted, I do not know.  But now that our beloved Bella has crossed the rainbow bridge, this photo has taken on new meaning.

Bella came into our lives via our favorite florist, Ann of Drake’s Designs.  Aside from designing the most beautiful bouquets and floral arrangements for our wedding a few years earlier, she is an artist.  Her bouquets are thoughtful, packed with flowers at the peak of bloom, and dripping with greenery cascading over the edges.  I was in her store to order flowers for my grandmother’s 97th birthday when she told me a cat sob story of a six-year-old cat who had recently lost her owner to cancer and entered a deep state of depression.  I thought, what a perfect birthday present for my grandmother?  My intentions, however good, were short-lived.  After a week at grandmas, I went to pick up Bella and brought her to my house.  My husband was in disbelief that I had brought home another cat – she made cat #4.  With no dogs or kids to water down the numbers, I accepted my well-deserved title of a semi-crazy cat lady.  

Bella struggled to find her place amongst the other three cats, all strays which we had adopted between two months and two years old.  My sweet alpha cat, Tail, would not share his spot in my lap and promptly let her know that she was a visitor in his house.  She got a brief reprieve when the doorbell would ring, and all other cats promptly scurried to hide beneath a bed or couch.   She assumed the position of top cat and waited patiently for our guests to arrive and welcomed the friendly pets from strangers.  Despite having perpetual pissed-off kitty face, she loved being pet and adored attention.  

When our son was born, the hierarchy of our cats was turned upside down.  The cats had been sleeping in a Boppy or napping on a changing table for a few months, but when Jude arrived, they were teetering on the tight rope of kitty sanity.  Bella realized center stage was up for grabs and seized her moment.  She was snuggled by my side while I read Jude his first book, Where the Wild Things Are.  She was on the couch, watching with her characteristic disgruntled scowl, as Jude learned to walk.  She was more than once confused as a stuffy, which prompted Jude to sit on her or pull her tail.  She took it all with a smirk and a soft meow.  She loved the attention and was, surprisingly, the best cat a boy could have.  

She was an integral part of my daily, somewhat monotonous, at-home routine, not to mention the countless drive-by pets and under the chin scratches throughout the day.  She had an endearing, high pitched “eouw” when she saw me and the cutest scamper when running down the hallway to “her room,” aka Jude’s toy room, which housed her separate diabetic-friendly food.  She had been spending more and more time alone in her room a few months before she journeyed to the Heaviside Layer – to the point my son felt like Bella was his personal cat who lived in his toy room.  

Bella was part of the background of our household, like the happy tree on the side of a Bob Ross painting.  And while I would be lying if I said I wasn’t still sad to see her “usual spots” in our house vacant, finding this photo gives me the warmest of feelings.  To have this photo of the most mundane moment of photographing an apple pie with my Bella kitty underfoot, is a priceless reminder to never take for granted those in the background of our lives. 

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Pie Crust

  • Author: Christina
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 1 pie crust 1x


This pie crust for the truly lazy bakers, like me!


Units Scale
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 Tbs pats
  • 2 Tbs cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup + 2-3 Tbs ice water


  1. In a large bowl or food processor, mix the flour, salt, and sugar.  Add in the butter until well incorporated.  Add in the ice water until dough forms into a ball.
  2. Sprinkle some all-purpose flour on a sheet of parchment paper.  Place the dough on the parchment paper and sprinkle the top with flour.  Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to the desired thickness.
  3. Place dough into the assembled spring form pan.  Use any excess dough to line the sides of the springform pan.  Just make sure you don’t get an abundance of crust where the bottom of the pan meets the side.  Gently press this extra dough with your fingertips to create an even crust.
  4. Using a fork, puncture the crust several times.
  5. Place dough in the freezer for at least thirty minutes.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
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