Natasha has always been my special kitty. The photo above was an early photo after she settled into the house when it was just her, me, and Hershey (she ignored Hershey, and Hershey, wisely, paid her no mind) in Alabama. I found her on Petfinder in 2005. She’d been in foster care for two years, and they estimated she was about two years old when they found her. She had a minor deformity in her left eye where her third eyelid stuck. It required periodic treatment, but mostly it didn’t affect her.
I passed the pre-adoption questionnaires. Her foster mommy, Wendy, insisted upon driving up and seeing where Natasha would be living. We talked on the living room floor as Natasha explored. Somehow, I must have passed, because I was quoted an adoption fee, and I paid it. Wendy warned me that Natasha would be sitting quietly on a lap seeming to enjoy being petted, then she would nip and run. Wendy said she’d display a restlessness before this happened. It wasn’t easy to explain, but I knew exactly what she meant when Natasha did it to me. This was why Natasha was not supposed to be around kids or other animals. I complied with the kids part.
I think Natasha didn’t realize she was a cat, and she didn’t like being lumped in with the other cats. But she became very comfortable around the house and relaxed easily. She finally accepted Mr. L in February, 2010.
Natasha and I bonded well. She spent a lot of her time near me, frequently sleeping on top of me. She usually purred. I’ll miss that.
A couple of months ago, I placed this warm heating pad I’d just finished using on top of her. She didn’t stir. (I think she liked the heat.)
Not long ago, I was tickled to watch Ruby (our second most reclusive indoor feral) curl up behind Natasha in this imitative fashion.
I’d made provisions for Natasha to stay with me in the dining room when I returned from the hospital after my knee surgery, because I know she didn’t like being separated from me. Here’s where we were practicing before I went to the hospital. We were ready.
The morning after my surgery, Mr. L called to say Natasha was having trouble and wanted to know when the clinic opened. I told him they opened at 8 and would be open by the time he could get there. I don’t know what happened, but his next call was at 11:03 am to tell me she was gone.
The first thing I did was compose a brief note on Facebook to Natasha’s foster mommy. Natasha was one of her success stories, and I loved being able to update Wendy about Natasha’s progress. This was a less pleasant task, but Wendy needed to know.
I was cushioned from the blow by being in the hospital. Now, I’m home and there’s still a hollow space where Natasha should be near by.