When they first adopted her, or she them, T and Nollind called her Natalya because she reminded them of a Russian princess with her big ruff of white fur. I knew her as Nat, or Natters, since that’s what she was always called. Story has it that Nat chose Nollind, as opposed to the other way around. T and Nollind were at the Street Cat Rescue (now MEOW Foundation) to adopt a cat. Nollind was kneeling to pet one of the many cats up for adoption, and Nat jumped up on his back. Sounds like something she’d do. Such a ham for attention.
Nat didn’t like me for the longest time. She’d hiss whenever I got too close, growl if I even looked in the direction of her food, and even swat at me sometimes. She and Logan were great friends so I knew it wasn’t just my dogness, it was something more personal.
I’d like to think I won her over, but I think it was more that Logan took to herding her in recent years, becoming quite territorial. Nat would try to get up on the bed where Logan was lying and he’d lunge at her, sometimes snapping. He was often reprimanded, but it didn’t stop him. If he didn’t want her somewhere, she wasn’t going. With Logan behaving less friendly toward her, I guess Nat thought it wise to befriend the other canine in the house. Me. In his defense, it’s possible Logan’s snappiness grew out of years of blocked doorways, waiting in line at the water bowl, having his food dish claimed, and otherwise being run by cats.
Nat died in March on St. Patrick’s Day, two weeks before we came home from the desert. Since Chelsey died on Remembrance Day, I guess Nat thought that a human holiday was a good day to go, more memorable. Or maybe she wasn’t Russian but Irish?
We buried her in the yard by the caragana this past Monday. She’d been in the big freezer downstairs since she died. Sounded weird to me at first, but the ground was frozen when she died, we weren’t home, and there was no food in that freezer anyway. But then it was kind of creepy when we got home, knowing she was in there, hearing the freezer’s hum and being reminded of its contents.
The ground’s been thawed for weeks now, but I think T and Nollind were having some difficulty with the idea of opening the freezer and extracting a frozen cat. Couldn’t blame them really. It wasn’t so bad in the end, she was protected by a big plastic bag and looked like she was sleeping all swaddled in her towel. Her fur was cold but just as silky as ever.
She’s buried next to King and Chelsey, the other two cats who came from the city with T and Nollind in 2003. Poor King. Eternity between the two arch enemies. But, maybe beyond the Rainbow Bridge Nat and Chelsey are friends and walk together in harmony … ya, right.
Although now I never need to find another bed because she’s got mine, or wait to pass through a doorway because she’s sitting there, or share the attention with the softest feline you ever laid a hand (or nose) on, I’ll miss her. RIP Natalya. You will live forever in our hearts.