Barbie – 1995-2011

When my sons were still in their teens and living at home, we decided the house needed a kitten. We started looking for one, and one day my mother called me, she had found an ideal kitten, tiny, friendly, a little silver tabby. We brought her home and we named her Barbie-Q. That name was not my idea, but it stuck. She was a great kitten, she wasn’t afraid of the older cats, she did well with my sons and our dog and entertained us endlessly like kittens should. About a year after we got her, a relative came to our house and stayed for a week with her young children. I gave them the house rules, no cat chasing, and no one is allowed in my bedroom, that’s where the cats can safely hide. Well, after a week of those small boys running amok, Barbie had changed, and for about 10 years she was a rather unpleasant cat, fearful, apt to strike out without warning, noisy. I guess cats can get PTSD too. One of the things that helped her come around was when I started fostering feral kittens. Barbie loved all the kittens. Finally she found someone smaller than she was! I adopted two of those little kittens and she quickly befriended them and played happily with them until they got bigger than she was. She continued to run and play, jump and cavort like a kitten until her very last days. This is a commissioned portrait of her, in one of her most familiar poses, high above us on some piece of furniture, watching.

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9 responses to “Barbie – 1995-2011”

  1. You captured her likeness really well. I like the way she is looking down on us. I picture her up on a high shelf. I like the shadow, too.

  2. Such a lovely story and a lovely kitty picture. My little love was a shelter kitten and is so timid (not with us) and when we have guests she hides in our bedroom (under the bed…her safe place……)….. sometimes for days on end. She came to England from Key West with us….so I can only image how terrified she must have been in the hold of the plane for hours and hours……
    I LOVE cats…..and miss all the feral ones I used to feed in Key West……we used to call our yard “Lathams Kitty B&B”!!!!

  3. Very nicely done, Mimi. Once again, it isn’t just the painting, but giving us a glimpse into the framework behind that painting. I never thought I’d miss her as much as I do.

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