April 19, 1990 - September 23, 2005

From the Sherlock Holmes story "A Scandal in Bohemia" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  "To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman."
I love the song "Goodnight Irene" as sung by Leadbelly and Irene is the main character in two of my favorite children's books :  The Princess and the Goblins and The Princess and Curdie by George MacDonald
Other given names considered:   Ruby Tuesday.
*Bean*, Bean the Wiener (for no reason other than that "Bean" rhymes with "Irene.")
April 19, 1990

In her prime, she was large for a female cat; she weighed around 12 pounds (5.4 kg).  Four out of five orange tabby cats are male, so many people assumed she was a boy cat because of her size and color.  Later in life, she lost a good deal of weight due to illnesses and looked frail and older than her years.  

Bean's mama was a petite, dilute calico stray cat who was eventually tamed, spayed, and given a home by an elderly couple who'd been feeding her.  Her papa was an enormous orange tom.  Bean was shaped very much like her mother, but got her size and color from daddy.

Loud, frequent, and very Siamese-sounding.  She often engaged in long conversations with anyone who would talk to her and was capable of meowing non-stop during the two-hour round trip to the vet.

Interestingly, Bean's mama had one more litter of kittens before she was spayed and all of them looked like purebred seal-point Siamese, so it's likely she had some Siamese blood in her.

Purr:  Frequent and very loud.  Bean tended to purr so hard she gagged herself.  If you put a finger near her nose while she was purring, she would rub her face against it, making a startlingly loud and rude-sounding snorting/purring noise.

Biscuits:  Bean was the all-time Biscuit-Making Champion.  I frequently had tiny, red pin-prick marks all over my thighs because she liked to stand in my lap, brace herself firmly with her back legs, and make very vigorous biscuits.  I usually tried to keep her claws trimmed.

When I arrived home from work one morning in 1990, there was the cutest little buff-colored kitten outside my apartment door.  I took him in while I tried to locate the owners, and was very disappointed when I was successful in my attempt.  I found myself thinking about buff-colored kittens frequently after that.

Not long afterward, someone posted a "free kittens" notice at the animal hospital where I was employed and on it was a picture of a buff-colored kitten.  I contacted the people who put up the notice and went to see the kittens.  The little buff one was already claimed, but there was Bean, just waiting for a home.

Generally extremely happy and subject to affection fits - - to the point of being frequently underfoot.  When she was younger, she was fairly shy around strangers, but in her old age, she decided they weren't worth worrying about and just went about her normal business when people come over.  When nervous, she became especially affectionate, and she purred so loudly at the vet that listening to her heart and lungs was usually impossible. 

Bean could be quite bossy with the other cats, though she was quick enough to curl up with them on chilly nights.  She hated being cold more than any cat I've ever had.
Severe calicivirus (probable); diabetes; feline acne; lymphocytic plasmacytic gingivitis stomatitis; probable chronic pancreatitis, probable exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, probable irritable bowel syndrome or eosinophilic enteritis; possible intestinal lymphoma or pancreatic cancer.  See Details.
Talking to people, making biscuits, chasing flashlight and laser pointer beams, eating anything I was eating (even though I'm a vegetarian), taking naps in the yard during Supervised Outdoor Playtime, and regularly slapping the other cats.  She considered this last one a duty, actually, rather than a hobby.
She was closest to Sasabe and the two loved to wash each other.   (Click here to see a pretty picture of Bean and Sasabe together.)  She was good friends with Obsidian during his lifetime, also.

She was frightened of the vacuum cleaner for most of her life, then suddenly decided it was no big deal.  In the last years of her life, she didn't even bother waking up when I vacuumed.