You’ve not heard much about Miss Bea before.
That’s not for lack of agitation.
Far be it from our timid trinket of a cat to instigate or agitate for much. Miss Bea is no Norma Rae, and she’s generally contented herself in the Special Needs Suite. Quiet, quiescent, almost pious in self-containment, Miss Bea is the plain brown jumper in a sea of sequins. (I’m looking at you, Coal, you fabulous creature.)
Miss Bea does not itch for more.
Or so we mere fools thought.
In defense of mere fools, it’s easy to think Miss Bea is a quiet creature. To the naked eye and ear and fingers, she is quieter than a potato. She lives around the hinterlands of her suite, always just beyond our touch and talk and miscellaneous human foolery and falderol.
But Miss Bea is playing a long game.
When the angle of the astral plane is just right, Miss Bea trips out on toy-sized feet, inaudible but irresistible. To fail to fall under her spell would be indefensible.
And so, you tilt your entire being along with the stars, and you pet her.
And you wonder.
And you give thanks.
Miss Bea will never be sloppy in her affections, so don’t expect her to treat you twice in the same day. Still, it’s becoming clear that Miss Bea is every bit as brave as her fellow traveler Jingles.
Together with their late, lovable brother Onyx, Miss Bea and Jingles came to Tabby’s Place when their owner passed away. Jingles was an instant glutton for great gooshy gobs of affection — and, OK, bottomless buckets of beef — from the git-go. Onyx came around quickly.
Miss Bea backed away, blossom bunching back into a bud.
Or so, again, we wiffleheads thought.
After many months of ranging below the radar, Bea has suddenly itched her way into the center of attention. For reasons none of us can fathom, Miss Bea has acquired strange scrape-y stripes on her back. They get better; they get worse. They heal; new ones appear.
They aren’t life-threatening. They aren’t gruesome. But they aren’t okay, exactly, and they aren’t explainable by any method known to the collective Tabby’s Place mind.
Is Miss Bea getting bonked and brutalized by a neighbor? (Et tu, Tesseract?)
Is Miss Bea somehow slinking against some sharp edge we can’t see?
Is Miss Bea doing a secret internship with a goat herder, getting goat-nibbled by night?
We honestly don’t know.
But Miss Bea has us exactly where she wants us, all wrapped up in her mystery, mooning for her healing, focused on fixing her itchy issue.
In the next chapter of The Mysterious Case of Miss Bea, we’re crating our quiet coquette for a week, outfitting her with a blue fabric cone so she can’t lick her lesions. (You may have heard this particular apparatus referred to as the “cone of shame,” but Miss Bea elevates all things to elegance. Diarrhea? Dainty and delightful. Upper respiratory infection? Sneezes of sophistication. Big blue satellite dish? Call it a feline fascinator.)
This will have the happy side effect of forcing us to lavish Miss Bea with even more attention than usual, as we clean her cage, deliver her dainties, and dote on her from head to itchy back to tail and back.
Whatever the terms of her healing, we’ll grant them. We’re putty (albeit the glow-in-the-dark kind) in this unexpected rebel-rouser’s hands.
Maybe Miss Bea is a grade-A Agitator after all.