Meet Natasha Noelle Barbour. She is about four years old. Like Abbey, she was an owner surrender to the county shelter. We adopted her from the shelter just two months ago, on Dec. 3.
When we adopted her, it was with some fear. Were we bringing another cat into the home too soon?
We were struggling because our Chase Bird died on Oct. 27, 2015. Our gray tabby boy, who was only about 10 years old, died unexpectedly when cancer was discovered during a procedure for something else.
After his death, Larry and I were in shock and grieving. We’re still grieving. But what began to concern me was Abbey’s reaction to the loss of Chase Bird.
We can never know what our cats’ perspective is on loss. But one morning we took Chase Bird away in a carrier, and he never came back. And Abbey became quiet, rarely playing, lying around more than usual. She was lonely.
After many tears and much discussion, Larry and I decided to bring another cat into the home while Abbey was still young. I wanted her to have a companion. And I knew we could provide a home to a cat who needed one.
|Natasha and me at the shelter on the day we adopted her.|
I saw Natasha’s picture on Facebook and emailed my friend Barbe, who is a leader with the volunteer group that works closely with the shelter. Natasha was already spayed and was friendly. She gave head bonks to anyone who opened her cage and interacted with her, Barbe said.
Larry and I went to meet her, and Natasha was definitely a cuddle bug. And the next day, we adopted her.
|Natasha on her first day at home.|
She had come into the shelter with another name and had her name changed to Natasha. Larry and I were considering naming her something else and using Natasha as a middle name.
But when I went to pick up Natasha, Barbe was there. I asked about her name, and Barbe said she had named her Natasha because she looked like a Russian princess. I knew then that Natasha would be her name.
As we were driving away from the shelter, I turned on some soft Christmas music. The first song that played? “The First Noel,” one of my favorite carols. And I knew my new baby’s name would be Natasha Noelle.
Natasha seemed at home almost immediately. She didn’t hide, and she ate well, both dry food and wet food.
|Natasha loves the turbo scratcher and the orange roller ball toy, and we sometimes combine them for her.|
She’s still eating well. We have worked to help her feel secure—cuddling her, talking to her, giving her comfortable places to make her own space.
She’s gentle and doesn’t vocalize much except when she’s waiting for the food to be ready. She purrs when we pick her up or pet her, and it’s a loud purr. Most of the time, she prefers to sit close by rather than on our laps.
|Natasha watching snow fall outside of our den window. I'm so glad she's here.|
She and Abbey have gradually accepted each other. I love it when they gently touch noses. Sometimes they squabble, and they don’t really play with toys together. But they chase each other around the house, sounding like a herd of elephants. They eat close by each other. They are becoming companions.