Mr. Bean has no voice.
I don’t know why, maybe it’s because he was thrown away as a new born kitten before being found on a rubbish heap and rescued, but what usually happens when he tries to speak is his mouth opens and no sound comes out, just air. Sometimes he will manage a small, croaky squeak, which can only be heard if you’re listening very carefully.
Last night we were all showered and tucked up in bed and about to turn out the lights when I heard a tiny, distant and plaintive “mew?”. Coming from … somewhere?
“What’s that noise?”
Piet couldn’t hear anything, “perhaps it’s a mouse”.
Although I was not really satisfied with that explanation, I again reached for the light switch and then I heard it again.
That was definitely a cat. I knew it wasn’t Tom – he sounds like a foghorn – could it be Mr. Bean?
Piet buried himself deeper under the covers.
So I got up, found the torch and shone it out into the darkness, while calling “Bean! Beanie Beanie Beanie Bean! Come along Mr Bean!”.
Oh so faint.
I shone the torch up towards where the sound was coming from and there he was. Mr. Bean, precariously perched between two branches in the old dead tree that hangs over our bedroom roof.
By now Piet was fast asleep, so thinking I could do this on my own, I donned my slippers, went outside and tried to coax the frightened little kitten down from the tree.
To no avail. I called, I pleaded, I rattled his favourite toy, I promised a feast of special cat biscuits but nothing would persuade him to come down. He just sat there, staring at me with those huge glowing eyes
and occasionally uttering a small “mew?”.
So am I staying up here all night?
The noise from my futile attempts – the dogs had helped a bit too, with some excited barking – had by now woken Piet and spurred him into getting out of bed and joining me under the tree.
And this is how Piet came to be at the top of a ladder rescuing a kitten out of a rotting dead tree in the middle of a cold May night. (I thought it salient to not draw his attention to all the wood-louse spiders that had come out from under the bark to see what all the fuss was about)
Mr. Bean seems none the worse from the ordeal