Francisca Franken was searching her local animal shelter’s website late one night when she came upon an odd cat. Something about the cat’s flat face, rough demeanor, and sad eyes made her pause in her browsing.
Franken said, “I saw her portrait and fell in love the second I saw her.” “I chuckled at first since the photographs were so amusing and I’d never seen a cat like this before.”
She immediately wrote to the shelter to see if the cat was still available, and was so nervous waiting for a reply that she couldn’t sleep that night. But when the shelter called her back, they couldn’t believe she actually wanted Bean.
“I got a call from a friendly lady from the rescue who asked me if Bean was really the cat I wanted to apply for because, apparently, nobody had been interested in her before,” Franken said. “The woman who called me was scared that I just pressed the wrong button or something.”
Bean was a stray in a trailer park before arriving to the shelter. She had never felt love and was suffering from an eye infection and other problems. Franken, on the other hand, was adamant about changing that.
“One woman escorted me to her room, and what I saw was far more lovely than I could have imagined,” Franken said. “Bean was (and still is) so little and tiny. She has stubby legs and a small tail, as well as the most flattened face I’ve ever seen.
Because I was so overwhelmed, I started weeping as soon as I came into her room. She wasn’t at all like I had anticipated — yet she was a million times better.”
“A lot of people who saw her at the shelter said she was ugly, but I think she’s the most perfect girl ever,” she added.
Franken immediately brought Bean home, and the cat made sure her new mom understood how grateful she was.
“In the beginning, she was much more cuddly and clung to me everywhere I went,” Franken said. “I think she then noticed that she didn’t need to ‘pretend’ like that and that I would never let her go again, even if she stopped being cuddly and cute, so she started to show me her sassy side. But I loved that because she let her true colors shine through.”
Bean now needs to share a bed with Franken every night and must constantly be in the same room as her. Bean’s favorite thing in the world, aside from her mother, is olives. She gets a little wild if she smells olives or olive brine.
“The first time she stole an olive, it was when I had a late-night snack and she rushed up to me and knocked the olive right out of my palm, picked it up, and raced away to eat it under the sofa,” Franken said.
Green olives and pimentos contain chemicals called isoprenoids, which have a similar makeup to catnip. Bean is so obsessed with the salty treats that she’ll scream at her mom every time she sees her take the olives out of the fridge.
Thankfully, olives are safe for cats — in moderation — so Franken gives her a few as a reward.
Given everything Bean has done for her, Franken believes that satisfying Bean’s olive fixation is the least she can do for the wonderful kitty.
“Bean isn’t a true emotional support animal, but she’s already helped me get through some difficult moments, and I can’t express how much I adore her,” Franken said. “She means everything to me, and she deserves every bit of affection after going through so much before coming to me.”
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