From scared little kitten to cat princess

When I was in middle school, we lost our tabby to kidney failure. We got him when I was three, so it was devastating, especially since we had lost our tuxedo three years before. I begged my parents for another cat, so about a year later, we started going around to various shelters. We came across Garnet, a very scared little tuxedo at a no-kill shelter. She was in a room with adult cats, and was not doing well there. Unconvinced that she was a good fit for our family, my mom said no. It was President's Day weekend, and the shelter was doing a special adoption event at Pet Smart. I begged my mom to visit her there the following Monday, and when she was in her own enclosure, we were able to see how sweet she was and that she liked to be held. We got her, knowing she would be a lot of work. After signing the adoption papers, we found out we were the second owners, that she was brought back for not "warming up". She was terrified when we got her home and would shrink back whenever we walked by. We would give her attention when she was calm, but for the most part, let her come to us. We've no idea what she went through at her previous home, but it wasn't good. Garnet, now called Belle, did eventually warm up to us. She loves to be held and cuddled. She is definitely a lap cat, although with me, she'd rather be on my face than on my lap. She also likes to sleep pressed up against me at night, and we cuddle in the morning. She's extremely healthy and likes to play and run around the house, in spite of being eight years old. I cannot describe with words what a bond she and I share. She's been my buddy for years, from middle school to college, and will probably move out with me. Oh, and like her namesake, she's a princess. At least she thinks so.
Baltimore, MD