Of all the cats, I think Bea is happiest to have me back. When I’m away, she becomes a full-time outdoor cat, while Sparky and Penny go to full-time indoors. This is because a) It is absolutely essential to ensure that Bea and Penny will not cross paths in my absence, thus preventing the mother of all opera club gatherings and b) I’m pretty sure that if she were left locked inside for more than a single day, Bea would have no trouble digging through drywall, insulation, and all the rest to make her own exit, thank you.
I’ve said before that Bea is not a particularly affectionate beast, but really I’m not being fair to her. She is wonderfully affectionate and truly devoted to me–she just shows it in her own way. Most cats express their love in predictable ways: weaving in and out between your legs as you walk, giving head bumps, quickly claiming an available lap. Bea is more subtle than that.
How do I know she loves me? I know because she sits as far across the room from me as possible, her back politely turned, and purring contentedly. I know because she sits beneath my lawn chair when I’m sunning outside (just so long as I pretend I don’t see her). I know because, when I’ve been gone too long, she hectors me from across the yard upon my return, letting out a long string of her gravelly little smoker’s meows.
Around midnight last night, she woke me up demanding door service, then ducked quickly past me, avoiding any petting when I let her in. She scooted upstairs, took her position in the far corner opposite the bed, and purred away while I worked on falling back asleep.