|Features:||Very active, affectionate.|
|Name:||From the commedia dell'arte character.|
Columbina showed up in my back yard in the spring of 2014. While she was a bit shy at first, she liked to hang around and watch me work in the garden, and after a few days and some conversation, she finally worked up courage to approach me and let me pet her. As I did so, I ran a hand down her belly and encountered a big, soft, blobby lump hanging from her abdomen. It didn't seem to be a mass, and my best guess was that it was a hernia, though it was unusually large for one.
Since a large hernia could pose a risk of intestinal strangulation, I brought her into the house and took her to the vet the next day. He confirmed that it was a hernia; she appeared healthy otherwise, though very lean and rough-coated, and to my surprise she turned out to have a microchip. Unfortunately, it wasn't much use; it had been implanted by the animal shelter in a small town some 50 miles east of me, and whoever adopted the cat hadn't registered the chip to themselves. The animal shelter had a record of her, but the phone numbers they had for her owners had been disconnected, so there was no way to contact them.
I had the hernia repair surgery done on the little girl right away. The hernia turned out to be due to the incision in the abdominal wall for her spay operation (at the animal shelter she came from) having re-opened instead of healing correctly. Fortunately, everything closed up nicely after the repair operation, so her innards were all properly packaged again. I hadn't seen any lost cat ads or posters, and her condition suggested that she'd been mostly if not completely on her own for a while, so I ended up keeping her. I named her Columbina, after the commedia dell'arte character, for her lively and flirtatious ways and her multi-colored coat. (Columbina in the commedia sometimes wears a costume of motley to match Harlequin's.)
Columbina is a very active, playful cat, and a very sweet one; she's affectionate and loves to snuggle. She gets along well with the gang, and enjoys playing with some of the other young cats.