Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Trials of Being Beansie

When I got Bean in 2003, my life was a little different. And by "a little different" I mean: completely and totally different. We had a house. I had a life partner (or, you know, so I thought). I taught high school.

She was a happy, if very sick, little munchkin. Then she started to get better. And get really, really big, until she was a sixteen pound, fuzzy, clumsy goofball.

We cruised for a while. She made me laugh, because in addition to being affectionate and adorable, she's weird.

(You can make a joke about people and their pets resembling each other now if you want.)

About three years later, things changed. The life partner demonstrated a significant inability and unwillingness to continue in that role. Bean and I moved into an apartment. I worked in Portsmouth.

She was not a happy kitty.

I mean, she was happy to be with me -- I'm her person -- but she didn't like the apartment. To be fair, I didn't like it either; it was dark in there all of the time like a small, ill-kept cave. I worked long hours and was gone a lot.

Neither of us were very happy.

And then I decided to take a job where I'd be working from home and move to North Carolina.

At first, Beansie thought this decision was ... um ... questionable. For one thing, it involved putting her in a kennel in the back of my car and driving to North Carolina. She was NOT INTO IT. Not even with kitty valium.

For another thing, there was already another cat living in the household we were joining. A small tortie who should have been named Lucifer named Isabella. A small, ANGRY tortie who quickly sized up Bean and thought "That cat might be enormous, but I am going to make her my bitch."

When Bean got over her fear of her new, pint sized (but evil) housemate and came out from behind the washing machine after three days of cowering, she surveyed the scene and decided that this was a pretty good deal. Big house. More humans to dote on her (and oh, man, my folks love her). And -- perhaps this is the best part -- I was home. EVERY DAY.

It was like she won the kitty lottery. Except for the tortie. But she learned to stay out of Izzy's way, sort of.

We did that for three years when I decided -- because I'm like this -- that I really wanted to move back to New Hampshire.

Again, I'm pretty sure that Bean found this to be a questionable decision. Didn't we have a good thing going in North Carolina, if you didn't count the other cat? Big house! Grammie and Grampie! NEARLY ENDLESS ACCESS TO KITTY COOKIES!

But we got back in the car anyway. At this point, she seemed more resigned than anything. 24 hours in a car? FINE. Two days in a hotel? WHATEVER.

Big, sunny apartment? SWEET.

And of course, I was still home all day.

Happy kitty.

About three years later, I decided -- not to move again, I'm over it -- but to take a job outside of the house. This is awesome.


My timing is not stellar. Bean is nearly ten years old. She's no longer sixteen pounds -- she's started losing weight randomly (and yes, we have a vet appointment and yes, I'll keep you posted) and of course, right when I'm worrying about her health? I'm not home all of the time to keep an eye on her.

This is stressing me out.

When I got home from work yesterday, I had no idea how she was going to be. Would she be cranky kitty? Would she be up my bucket Beansie? Would she have destroyed things or yarked on the furniture?

I opened the door. She was sitting on the kitchen table. She chirped at me and started to purr. I put my stuff down and picked her up. She leaned her head back and gently nipped the tip of my nose.

So I guess we're good.

But I'm still going to worry about that skinny little whackadoo.

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