A Lady Always Knows When to LeavePosted: December 21, 2014
In 1997, I arrived in New York to begin my adult life, and the same week my would-be roommates had adopted two ten-week old kittens, siblings from Brooklyn. Bean was the shyer of the two, the more-strange, the most enigmatic. She liked tiny pieces of Brie. She chirped a tiny meow, a bless you, when anyone sneezed. And she was totally obsessed, for many years, with a catnip-infused crinkly frog toy which she knew I kept hidden in a kitchen drawer.
When I moved from Queens to Brooklyn, she was suddenly sharing the house with her brother and our other male cat. They ganged up on her — typical big brother bullies — and she spent a couple of years, very literally, hiding under a bed and coming out only to snuggle if the house was totally silent. The boys eventually passed away, and for the last fourteen months Bean has enjoyed, or rather flagrantly and luxuriously reveled in, finally being the Queen of her Queendom. We called her the Queen Bean from the beginning, actually. It is fitting, and I think not surprising, that she outlasted them all.
She was so reclusive and sensitive, anyone who she let pet her, well, they felt like they’d won a prize. (As many of you know, her presence in the house was sometimes mythological.) When I think of the 17 years spent with this peerless little lady, all tiny, barely five pounds of her, I know that my life has been richer and more meaningful thanks to her odd, delicate company. I am inconsolable and I am grateful.