The Talbert Zoo is a personal blog started by Cascia Talbert, a Catholic mother of five special needs children. Cascia shares stories about the stress of motherhood and how her faith has helped her become a better parent. She also writes about autism, trichotillomania (a hair pulling disorder), ADHD, taking care of her cats, and how to have a healthy Catholic marriage.
Raised as the youngest of five in a Catholic family in the Midwest, Cascia never thought she would have five children of her own. Her children are very different and special so she and her husband named them after zoo animals. Since 2010, they have nicknamed their home, the Talbert Zoo. This website is named after their home and dedicated to their family.
Chris is Cascia’s husband and the father of their five children. He works full time in sales and helps take care of the home and children. His interests include, watching football, drinking beer, grilling meat in the spring and summer, Marvel superheroes, Star Wars, and traveling with his family.
Courtney is the oldest child in the Talbert Zoo. She is 26 and lives at home. She got her nickname Goose because when she was younger she was a good helper to her younger siblings. She helped take care of them like a Mother Goose. She is also very messy and talks a lot, just like geese.
Courtney was diagnosed with high functioning autism, anxiety and depression when she was fourteen. Her therapist and psychiatrist think that she may also have bipolar 2. Courtney works at Jersey Mike’s. Her interests include her Catholic Faith, watching anime, attending anime conventions, dressing up in cosplay and spending time with her family.
Kitty got her nickname because she is very independent, strong-willed and loves to entertain and be the center of attention, just like a cat. She is seventeen and a Senior in High School. She is graduating in May of ’24 and plans on working and living at home after graduation.
Kitty has anxiety induced trichotillomania, which is a hair pulling disorder. It started when she was four after a stressful move and the birth of her youngest brother. When the family moved from Washington State to Illinois she fell victim to bullying for the first time. This caused her to develop depression and her trich got worse. Music has been Kitty’s life saver and has helped her cope with depression, anxiety and trichotillomania. She dropped all of her music classes and currently only takes private voice lessons. Kitty’s other interests include, watching movies with her dad, watching anime with her sister, and watching YouTube videos.
Parrot got his nickname because he is very intelligent. When he was little he soaked up knowledge like a sponge and could repeat it back to you very quickly, just like how a parrot learns how to talk. When he was four he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. He has an above average intelligence, gets strait A’s in school and many people believe he may have a genius IQ.
Parrot is sixteen-years-old and a Junior in High School. He plays the baritone horn / euphonium in the school band. His interests include, fishing, marine biology, playing computer games and watching YouTube videos. He is planning on going to college for marine science after high school and is looking into the University of Tampa.
Monkey got his nickname because he has always been a very active little boy. When he was younger you could find him on the table or climbing on other furniture, just like a monkey. When he was in Kindergarten he was diagnosed with ADHD. He also has dyslexia which affects his reading, writing and speech.
Monkey is fourteen-years-old and in the ninth grade. He is very active in sports and loves playing football and wrestling. Monkey is a very gifted wrestler and placed second in the state tournament in March of ’23. He is also very social and has many friends. He is the only kid in the Talbert Zoo that uses his phone to talk to his friends. His other interests include coding, playing chess, making YouTube videos, Marvel super heroes, Star Wars, and watching the Green Bay Packers with his Dad. Monkey also values his Catholic faith and is preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation.
Little Bear got his nickname because he is the youngest. When we started calling our home the Talbert Zoo he was just a new born baby and he loved to be held and snuggled, like a little teddy bear. Bear is twelve and in the seventh grade. Today his personality has lived up to that nick name. Bear still loves to snuggle and give hugs but he has a ferocious temper.
When Bear was seven he was diagnosed with high-functioning autism. His therapist also believes that he has some form of oppositional defiant disorder. He does not like to listen and obey authority figures. Following the rules is also very difficult for him. Bear is the only child with medical needs as well. He has childhood liver disease which causes his liver enzymes to rise and makes him more prone to illness. Bear also has partial hearing loss in one ear due to chronic wax build up.
Just like his brother, Parrot, Bear is very intelligent and gets straight A’s in school.
Bear’s interests include, playing percussion/ drums in band, figuring out the answers to advanced math problems, cooking and baking, playing computer games, singing and music, creating YouTube videos and watching YouTube.
Baby is the beautiful little black cat that was welcomed into the Talbert Zoo in June of 2018. Baby acts like she has feline ADHD. She loves to play and run around the house. Her favorite toy is the feather wand. She also enjoys sitting in the bathroom sink, watching the birds from the window, giving kisses to her humans, and catching mice if they sneak into the home.
We welcomed Gally to the Talbert Zoo in January of 2021. She was Kitty’s birthday gift. Gally and Baby are starting to get along although, they fight over food, their favorite cat tree and my attention.
Gally loves to eat and is very aggressive during meal time. We have to feed them in separate rooms so Baby gets enough to eat. Gally also loves to play with the feather wand, look out the window at the critters outside, and play chase with Baby.
We don’t think Gally has any special needs, unless you consider being glutton a special need. We were enjoying having two felines in our family until…
Luna literally jumped into our lives in July of ’23.
Named after the moon, Luna is our brave, bright and bold kitten. Cascia rescued her from a busy highway when Luna jumped up into the air several feet from her car. Knowing it was the right thing to do, Cascia pulled over, stopped traffic and scooped up the tiny black and white fur ball.
She is very active and has her two big sisters wrapped around her little paw. She rules our little clowder.
Books by Cascia Talbert
Taking Care of Your Family’s Health and Well-Being, Saints to Turn to and the
Combining healthy living and the Catholic faith in a book has never been done before until now. This book by Cascia Talbert, founder of the award winning online magazine for moms, the Healthy Moms Magazine and inspired by the Holy Spirit can help anyone attain a holy healthy life. Using diet recommendations for your age group, learning how to spot mental health issues, exercising your brain and body and praying to the saint or saints who are patrons for your health issue, can bring peace and possibly healing.
We are all on a journey to sainthood. We can use the examples of the saints to teach us how to better understand how to have a healthy mind, get proper nutrition, and get enough physical activity. They are also our friends and will intercede for us when we are troubled, in times of need or struggling with a health issue. “Taking Care of Your Family’s Health and Well-Being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith,” introduces readers to special saints that can help us on our journey towards healthy living, happiness and eternal life in heaven.
From the author, “My prayer and hope is that this book will be a Godsend for you and that you may live your life for His honor and Glory and attain everlasting life with Him in heaven.”
“Taking Care of Your Family’s Health and Well-Being, Saints to Turn to and the Catholic Faith,” is now available for Catholic retailers purchase wholesale from Ingram. Are you interested in having your store carry this popular new book? Visit ingramcontent.com/retailers/ordering to place your order.
Cascia Talbert Music
Cascia is also a professional flutist and singer. She teaches music at Music Maker’s for Life, a local music school. She writes and arranges music which is found for sale on Score Exchange. You can also watch her performances on YouTube at Cascia Talbert Music.