At Least Bella Hasn’t Eaten My Books


So that post yesterday about the progress the beasts were making was probably premature. Bella and Fat Kitty are on a standoff currently. Fat Kitty is back to being pissed–growling and hissing. At least he’s not running anymore so Bella doesn’t chase him. But they still aren’t cool together and I have to keep an eye on them when they meet in the hallway.

Over the weekend when Michael was gone, my mom and I puppy-proofed the garage and decided to let Bella hang out in there roaming free. Just as a test. It was only for about an hour while we went swimming. I got home and when I entered the house there was a flash of black in the hallway–kind of like in the Sixth Sense when the kid sees the dead girl run down the hall in a flash. Just like that. Chills ran up my spine. WHAT THE HELL?!?!

HOW IN THE HELL did she get into the house?!?! My mom went to check on the kitties to make sure they were okay, I put Bella in the backyard and saw that she had clawed her way into the house.


4.5 years ago Michael blocked the cat door from the kitchen into the garage with cardboard and duct tape so the kitties wouldn’t get out. Bella had clawed, chewed and ripped it down and escaped that way!

But that wasn’t it. She had pulled a bunch of stuff off the shelves in the garage so things were strewn around. All the shoes that were on the shoe shelf were strewn around. And Bella had chewed up my brand new rain boots. The picture doesn’t do it justice. They were destroyed.


She also had grabbed Michael’s bike helmet off his bike (thankfully she didn’t do anything to the bikes) and had hid it in her crate under her blanket. What the freakin’ hell?!?

It’s weird because Bella hasn’t shown any signs of being a chewer until this event. We gave her two different kinds of bones and she couldn’t be bothered with them. Clearly she was pissed about me being gone all weekend dress shopping, and she was showing me how mad and lonely she was. But damn! I was not a happy camper.

At least Bella hasn’t discovered my book collection and destroyed those…. 🙁 Now for the graceful segue-way to talk about books….

It’s been a busy summer but I still got some good reading in. Flying to California gave me two hours both ways to read some books! I mean, what else are you gonna do for two hours on a plane? Here are a few of the books I read this summer that I really enjoyed:


1. Undress me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Gilman

This book took me totally by surprise. I thought it was going to be just another memoir but was blown away and experienced so many different emotions…where to even start? So the memoir is by Susan who graduated from Brown in 1986 and went to China with her best friend Claire. They were going to be backpacking around the globe, but didn’t make it any further than China.

At first, I hated both the characters. I loved the writing style, was pulled in by the store, but the two girls were horrible, horrible people. They were the stereotypical privileged white Americans. There were several stories in the book that painted them as very ugly people because of how they used, manipulated and mistreated some of the people they came across on their trip. Yet at the same time, needing them for help. This was a major turn off and I wondered, How is this book so highly rated by readers? These girls are terrible people! But boy oh boy did the book redeem itself. I don’t want to give the ending away because it was so astonishing (although I did guess it pretty early on in the book) but you must read this!

2. Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

I actually read this book a few years ago after a friend recommended it. When the new TV show came out and I realized it was from the book, I told everyone I knew to read the book. The book was so good! It’s been a few years so now that I’m watching the tv show, it’s reminding me of it. The show is kind of campy and in the vein of Weeds or Sex and the City, but Michael and I are both enjoying the show.

3. Cider House Rules by John Irving

I’m late to the game on this one. I saw the movie with Tobey MaGuire and Michael Caine and I loved the movie! Well I finally got around to reading the book. I feel like had I not seen the movie, I might not have been able to get into the book. It was kind of hard at first, but then I got sucked into the story and characters and fell in love with the book. I’m so glad I got around to reading this!


4. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This is another author that I’ve heard about for a long time but never read the books. My book club read his newest book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I really liked his writing style. It was fantastical and childlike. He was able to create another world that felt real. American Gods is a favorite of many people and I enjoyed the book and its characters. I’m not a huge fan of fantasy novels but American Gods had just enough for me. My goal is to read the rest of his books!


5. The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

I love dystopian, end of the world type of books. This book was along those lines. The “end” had already happened and it was a story of the aftermath–years later. At first the writing style was difficult to read–it was almost like poetry–and reminded me a lot of The Road in style. But half way through the book I didn’t mind the writing style as much.  There were some parts of the book (that I won’t spoil) that were difficult to read but overall I loved this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a story about survival and humanity.

* * *

What about you? Read anything good recently? Please share!

Author: Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and

24 thoughts on “At Least Bella Hasn’t Eaten My Books”

  1. It took Jack a LONG time to get over his separation anxiety! the only solution was to put him in the crate every time we left and at night. He actually loves his crate! Now, he’d be fine to go uncrated but it’s just routine now and so we stick to it. Don’t worry – Bella will figure it out that you always come home no matter how long you’re gone 🙂 If you’re open to it, try crate training. Maybe it’ll help?
    Sara recently posted..Weight Watchers vs. Paleo

    1. Bella is crate trained. She’s really good at it, too. I just hate that she’s in there all day when we are at work, and then at night when we sleep. At some point she will be out at night and sleep on her dog bed. But not until her and the cats are cool together. I’m thinking it will be months, maybe a year from now…..

      1. I agree with Sara. It’s easiest to stick with what the dog is used to, they get anxious when their routine is different. We recently got a bigger older dog, and he freaked out when we left him outside/in the garage. We decided to try leaving him inside instead and he was totally fine (we don’t have cats). Good luck! I feel your pain.

  2. We had a cat (Ralph) for a few years before getting a dog (Tia). For the ten years they lived together, (until Tia died) Ralph never warmed up to the dog, she did tolerate her. She ruled the roost and eventually Tia just ignored her, she was a really mellow dog. They found a way to co-exist together without killing each other, but Ralph definitely kept Tia in line with a hiss here or there to let her know this was HER house and she was in charge. Interestingly, when outside one day a tom-cat started to fight with Ralph and Tia was on that mean old cat in a heartbeat (which was so out of her character) and kicked a little kitty ass to save Ralph from being destroyed. So deep, deep down, there was some sort of allegiance/love. So hopefully Bella and Fat Kitty get to that point at least.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. That is really sweet about Tia. I can totally picture it. I hope that at the very least the kitties will tolerate Bella. They may not be best friends (like yours) but I just don’t want to feel like I need to keep an eye on them at all times ready to jump in!

  3. I so look forward to your book reviews and have enjoyed several that you recommended. As a matter of fact, I just got Burning Man and had to look back to verify, Yup! That’s one of Lisa’s suggestions. I am enjoying it as well. I just finished Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (another one of your suggestions, although I chose it after my book club read Gone Girl) – that was a very good, yet disturbing, book. I also just gobbled up the new Jack Reacher book by Lee Child – I was home sick and finished that puppy in a day! I’m so glad Bella didn’t chew up your books – that would be a heartbreaker, wouldn’t it?

    1. I LOVE the Jack Reacher series. I’ve been reading it for years and well, wasn’t happy about Tom Cruise being cast as him in the movie but actually enjoyed the movie a lot…

      1. I REFUSE to go see Tom Cruise try to play a 6’5″ 220+lb. guy! I had the opportunity to hear Lee speak several years back, and he said that there had been offers to make the movie from other actors, including Keanu Reeves (really?). When pressed, he named his own first choice, which happened to match my own – Hugh Jackman! Hugh would have rocked as Jack Reacher.

        That being said, I know a lot of people who enjoyed the movie, too, but I just can’t get past the mis-casting…

        1. I TOTALLY understand. Even though the movie was really good, it still bugs me it’s Tom Cruise. For years, reading the book I pictured Vincent D’Onofrio as Jack. I don’t know why, that’s just the guy I had in my head. Hugh Jackman would be ok, but still not perfect in my mind.

  4. I think my favorite books that I read this year were The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

  5. Dogs chew when they get stressed. Bella just wasn’t used to being in the garage and wanted to be where she was comfortable, which is inside. Crating is a natural instinct for dogs, so don’t feel bad having to do that for as long as you need. Better than having her run amok.

    I just read the Orange book.

    Last night I finished In Cold Blood by Capote. Disturbing.

    I am now dusting off a classic (Picture of Dorian Gray.) while waiting for a library book on hold.
    Lori recently posted..Football winner!

    1. Yes, she will be crated for awhile. At least until she’s older.

      Oooh! I can’t wait to hear what you think of Dorian Gray. It’s in my top 10 books of all time. One of my favorites. LOVE IT

  6. Oh poor thing! I would be furious about all the destruction, but you kinda gotta let it go when they get so anxious they act out like that. Our little man Flynn is a chewer when he’s sleepy, which is funny. We got him a little rubber worm that he gnaws on and then falls asleep! I swear he’s more dog than cat!

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