Bean loved to do two things, eat, and:
She slept on the floor, on rugs, in chairs, on tables, on my desk, in my closet, and, of course, in bed:
As Chelsea and Bean got older, I set a low chest near the bed to make it easier for them to get up and down. In one apartment, however, I didn’t have room for the chest, so set this stool next to the bed, instead:
Chelsea would step lightly up, but Bean never quite mastered that. Instead, she’d climb partly on to the lower step, then stick her paw into the notch on top and haul herself up and over; made me smile every time. Shoulda gotten a shot of that.
When I had a proper kitchen set-up—i.e., a table and chairs—Bean liked to jump into the chair. She then expected me to tip it back and rub her belly. She’d squeak and squeak until I’d stop, then look at me like ‘You’re stopping? Is there a problem?’
Even without the tip-and-rub, however, she liked to reign from the chair.
This became a point of contention between her and Jasper, as he, too, liked to loll on the chair. Bean would chase him off if he dared slip on to her perch, but at some point this past winter, she ceded the spot to him. It was a concession both sad and inevitable.
Still, she never gave in fully to Jasper, never let him get too familiar. Tolerance, however, she could do.
I did see them sleeping together—actually touching—once or twice, but Jasper could never get the hang of how to hang without chomping on Bean. And then he wondered why she wanted nothing to do with him.
Chelsea was the same way, initially, with Bean, although because they were much closer in age, they had more time together to learn how to live together.
Chelsea, as I may have mentioned, was a marvelous jumper, able to leap from the floor to the top of five-foot bookshelves with little more preparation than a look and a butt-wriggle. This was how she most often escaped the Bean-kitten, as the young Bean had neither the strength nor, frankly, the chops, to follow her.
But oh, how Bean tried. One night, when my roommate P. and I were sitting on the couch, Bean chased Chelsea down the hall and into the living room. Chelsea skipped on to the nearby desk, then hopped on to the bookshelves.
Bean, determined to follow, didn’t bother first scrawling up the couch to get to the desk (a board slung across two file cabinets), and instead tried to conquer the desk in one leap.
She managed to get half her tiny body up, but her back didn’t quite make it. She bicycled her back legs, to no avail, and her front half slowly slid back off, until all that remained on top were her paws, the claws dug into the plywood.
She hung there for a moment, her little body swinging, before she finally let go.
Bean never attained the grace so natural to Chelsea, but she had her own dignity.
And she was sweet and lovable, who pipped and squeaked and purred and purred and purred.
Bean was a good cat. I don’t know if there’s anything after life in this world, but if there is, I hope she and Chelsea are together.
They were good cats.
If there is something else, I hope they’re happy.