Friday, February 5, 2016

Meet Natasha

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.


  1. Natasha is a pretty girl! I'm sure she and Abbey will be great pals. :-)

    Yesterday I was at my doctor's (routine checkup), and I told her about losing Inky (she was very sympathetic). She asked if I'd get another kitty, and I said probably but I wasn't ready yet. A cat lover herself, she agreed – she said the first time she went to the shelter after her beloved cat died she found, after looking at all the cats, she was looking for the kitty that passed. That's how she knew she wasn't ready, so she and her husband went home and waited a few more months before they returned to adopt not one, but TWO kitties!

    Anyway – it's different for everyone. And I know firsthand that loving a new kitty doesn't mean you don't still love and miss the old one. I still miss our Sadie, and I know I'll always miss Inky. But it's great to get to know a new kitty, and so rewarding to know you provided a happy home for a shelter animal. :-)

    1. We are still grieving for Chase Bird. Natasha doesn't replace him, by any means, but she has helped Abbey and has been a balm to our hearts.

  2. Natasha is a lucky girl to be a part of your family. She is so pretty :)

  3. I love the story of Natasha (and I am so sorry about the losses of your other kitties). I think Natasha's name is a movie star. Yes, she IS a star! catchatwithcarenandcody

    1. Her name fits her, Caren. She has kind of a mystique about her. :-)

  4. She is beautiful and I love reading her adoption story!

  5. Natasha look regal. Again your adoption story was wonderful to read. I like the toy she has. Just saw that in a magazine today & am thinking of getting one for our cats.

  6. What a wonderful adoption story! I'm glad she and Abbey are slowly becoming friends. They are good for each other. I love to read about cats and their unique personalities and preferences. When we first brought our kitty Snickers home from the local shelter, Tennessee didn't really like her. But they slowly learned to first tolerate each other.. then they became friends. They're true siblings now, I think. Friends, but they have their little spats. :) Natasha is beautiful!

  7. We loved hearing Natasha's gotcha story. How wonderful that she found her forever home with you, and that she is so obviously loved. :)

  8. very sweet and I am looking for those turbo toys they look so very cool :-)