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Meet Bettie (left, pictured with another rescue, Listra). Named after Bettie Page, for the black "bangs", Bettie was found at a local landfill site, starved, and had been taken in by a local vet. She appeared to have been hurt - she had many broken teeth, and tremors in all her limbs. No one is sure how long she'd been at the dump, but she seemed elderly even then. My mother-in-law had in a short time lost her husband, her dog, and her teenage Siamese, Barney. She was an elderly lady mostly on her own, and she needed a friend. A trip to town led to a stop at the vet for my own pets' needs, where Bettie insisted on attention from my in-law the second we walked in the door. Her broken teeth had been drawn, but the tremors were permanent - Bettie would need a special soft diet and gentle handling. The two elderly ladies made instant friends, and Bettie went home with my mother-in-law that afternoon, with the gleeful blessing of the entire veterinary clinic. Bettie lived with my MIL for over a year, keeping each other company, until my in-law moved to nurse-assisted living, then Bettie came to live with my family and our assorted rescues. Bettie marched in our door like she owned the place. She picked out the biggest fluffiest bed, took over the largest of the litter pans, hissed at the dog, and basically installed herself as "senior cat in charge". Our 3 cats, dog and rabbit fell in line, just as Bettie expected them to. 3 years on, our vet pegs her age at somewhere "between petrified wood and Methuselah", and she's got a little hitch in her get-along, but she's still grand Dame of this house, and everyone in it knows it. My in-law adores having a digital photo frame *packed* with pictures of Bettie snuggling with her 4 teenage grandsons in her suite, she says it makes it feel like home <3
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