The Alamo: Historic Relics and a Cat Named Bella

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Tony Maples Photography


When visiting the Alamo, one expects to see many things: the cannons that are on display on the grounds, which tell a tale of heroic battles and lives lost and the bullet-pocked walls surrounding the structure that helped to hold back the Mexican army. But, many people are surprised to find that there’s a cat who lives there too.

The cat’s full name is Isabella Francisca Veramendi de Valero, but you can call her “Bella,” for short. Her royal full name pulls from Texas history, including the Goliad Massacre (Francisca, the Angel of Goliad), an early leader of San Antonio de Bexar (Juan Martín Veramendi) and the original name of the Alamo (which was Mission San Antonio de Valero).

Bella Isn’t the First Cat to Call the Alamo Home


Photo: Facebook/FOX7austin

Bella isn’t the first cat to call the Alamo home. “Mistress Clara Carmack” (C.C.) reigned for 18 years before Bella, as did Ruby, who lived there from 1981 until 1986. According to Texas Monthly, both Ruby and C.C. are buried on the grounds and each of the animals receives permanent memorials on the website of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, where sentences like “C.C., as you can see from her photo, was a regal feline who was aware of her importance,” “during her short life not a stray cat, dog, nor ‘nother varmint dared set foot in the sacred battleground,” and “she liked reading about Ms. Clara Driscoll, who with Adina de Zavala, saved the Alamo from being demolished” appear with utmost sincerity.

Bella Was a Stray Found at la Bahia

the alamo cat

Photo: Facebook/OfficialAlamo

Bella, a calico, was found at the Presidio la Bahia in Goliad, and was taken to the Alamo by an employee. Bella now spends her days soaking up the sun and sashaying among the cannons on the grounds of the shrine. She wears a tag on her collar stating, “I Belong At The Alamo,” just in case anyone confuses her for a wayward feral. Her veterinary care is provided by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and Bella spends her nights inside in one of the management offices and her days patrolling the grounds, sometimes allowing visitors to pet her.