Bean Kat (also called "BK")

This is our youngest cat, Bean. He isn't a purebred, but we love him a lot.
Believe it or not, he's best friends with our Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Titan.
In this photo, Titan and Bean are playing with each other.

Biographical information:

We got Bean in September of 2000, to fill the void left by a recently deceased cat (George ye Curious, who died in 1999). Like Harry, he is strictly an indoor cat. He was born on the same day as our puppy, Titan. When introduced, Titan and Bean bonded immediately. Bean actually seeks out the puppy's company, and instigates rough and tumble games with him. Neither has hurt the other, though we occasionally separate them if the dog starts playing too rough. At night, Bean has been found sleeping right beside Titan's sleeping crate. It's going to be wonderful watching them grow up together.

The three kittens in Bean's litter were initially given temporary names for their colors. Bean, being solid black like his mother, was "BK", short for "Black Kat". His two sisters were "Gray" and "Stripes". When BK joined our family, our four year old daughter asked us to change his name to "Bean Kat" for the kitty in one of her favorite children's books, "Bean's Night". Jay and Laurie still tend to call him BK.

Bean's story

Bean came from a feral rescue litter. His mother and grandmother had been abandoned, along with a dozen other mostly feral cats, when an elderly neighbor, who had been feeding them all, moved away. For several months the remaining neighbors tried to live-trap and re-home these cats, and all but two were captured. Bean's mother, and her mother, both solid black and apparently mostly Siamese, were too clever to be caught by normal methods. For over a year, we worked to gain the trust of these two cats. We fed them, provided them with outside shelter in our front garden, and slowly worked to try to get them to allow us to touch and hold them. Our aim was at least to catch them and get them spayed, and then to either try to find homes for them (as "barn cats"), or release them once they had recovered and could no longer breed.

Eventually, Bean's mother got pregnant, and moved her litter of three kittens to the shelter box we had set up for her in the front garden. (This was before George died). She allowed us to handle the kittens, and we placed two of the three kittens in good homes. (The third died in an accident with a car). Still, we couldn't touch mama cat or grandma cat for more than an instant. However, we were able to get close enough to drip a liquid flea killer on both of them, which also served to keep the kittens free of fleas. Just days after the last kitten was placed, our oldest cat, George, died. We decided to keep one of the next kittens to replace him, if we couldn't catch mama cat before she got pregnant again.

Mama cat did get pregnant again. We started placing their food in our entry hall, and allowing the two feral cats to freely come and go while they ate. We would sit in the living room and watch them, but didn't try to touch them or trap them. Grandma cat started getting wary, but was pushing mama cat into the house, as if to encourage her to take up our offer of hospitality. We set up a well sheltered "nest" in our wood pile, in hopes that mama cat might choose that as the place to have her next litter.

One morning, Laurie noticed mama cat suddenly no longer looked pregnant. She let her in for breakfast as usual, but this time hid behind the door. As soon as mama cat entered and was concentrating on eating, Laurie shut the door, trapping mama cat in the living room and entry hall. (The doors to the rest of the house were already closed). Laurie then looked for the kittens, and sure enough, they were in the wood pile, right where we hoped she would have them. She brought the kittens to mama cat, and for the next two months they lived in our living room. We used the back door or the garage door instead, to make sure they wouldn't escape.

Again, mama cat has trusted us with her kittens, but avoided direct contact herself. She did allow us to get much closer to her, but still won't allow touching her. As the kittens neared 8 weeks old, we allowed mama cat and the kittens to explore the rest of the house, and retreat back to "their living room". We made sure all three kittens were introduced to our dog and cat, Crusader and Harry. Crusader even allowed the kittens (all three of them) to play on his back! At 8 weeks old, Bean was moved to the back of the house with the rest of us, had his vet visit and shots, and "joined the family". This was on the same weekend that our puppy, Titan, came home with us from his breeder.

Photographs : Check our Photo Index.

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Revised 12/10/2000