Missing Fredericksburg Cat Returns Home After 5 Months

This post is Collette Dobeck Matthews’ first contribution to the Northern Lebanon Bulletin. Collette is looking forward to covering various community topics, sports events, as well as coordinate with the public.

The Tavani Family of Fredericksburg had a surprise last week when their missing cat named Bellatrix Raze came home after being lost for five months. Michael and Meghan Tavani have two children, a son named MJ and a daughter named Izzie. They also had one other cat at the time of Bellatrix’s disappearance and had adopted another cat while Bellatrix was missing. Meghan says, “We have all been living in this strange place of awe that she is home.”

Bellatrix escaped from their home through a sliding glass door that was accidentally left open. The Tavani family was heartbroken when they discovered she had gotten out. The first thing they did was walk up and down the streets with flashlights looking for her. Meghan posted all over Facebook and on Find Toby PA. Throughout the first week they also went to nearby farms to search for Bella. They always kept an eye out for her whenever they were in the car. The family felt absolutely sick about missing their cat and spent 5 months wondering if she was ok and praying that she would return home.

Bellatrix Photo by Meghan Tavani

Amazingly, Bellatrix found her home again on Tuesday, February 1, 2023. Bellatrix showed up meowing at the very door she escaped from on Wednesday, August 24, 2022. Meghan was home alone when she heard a meowing at the door. She thought it was one of her other cats until she saw her on the porch. It was dark out and the cat looked a bit different. Meghan wasn’t sure if this was their missing Bellatrix. Michael, MJ, and Izzie were at the school for their Izzie’s basketball practice at the time, and were sent photos of the cat. Unfortunately, Meghan didn’t get to see the kids’ initial reactions when they were told of the cat’s return. She was told by Michael that Izzie collapsed on the court and started bawling tears of joy when he told her that Bellatrix came home.

Since Bellatrix has come home everything is going well. Tsunami Clay, one of their other cats, was super depressed that Bellatrix Raze had left. So they got another cat who they named Luna Moon about a month after Bellatrix left. Bellatrix was kept quarantined until she could be taken to the veterinarian to make sure she was healthy. All three cats are now coexisting peacefully with occasional hissing from Bellatrix and Tsunami. Luna is a cat that wants to love and to be loved, so Meghan doesn’t think it will be too long until they are all friends.

The family says it was a hard lesson for them in not waiting to spay since they believe the cat was in heat when she got out. They have fixed their other two cats and plan to get Bellatrix spayed as soon as she is adjusted to being in her home again. They want all three of the cats to feel safe around each other before they have to let Bella walk around wearing a cone. It is certainly a blessing that this wonderful family got their beloved Bellatrix back home.

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