Beato Goes To series of children’s books are based on a real-life cat, Beato. Here’s a little bit about Beato…
Adopted Kitty With No Identity
In January 2010, I was browsing through websites, local newspapers and pet adoption sites, looking to adopt a kitten. I have had cats all my life but after losing my last cat, Bob, I did not have the heart to get another fur baby for a few years. I wasn’t looking for any particular breed or color of the cat, just a cute kitten. After a few hours, I found a listing on Craigslist posted by a family living not too far from me. There was a picture of a tiny grey kitten that I was instantly attracted to it. I drove to the home of this Russian family who already had a cat and dog, and did not want to raise another kitty. I asked if they knew his breed and they told me their house cat had mated with the neighbor’s male, who was probably a Persian. The kitten, like his mom, was polydactyl, meaning had multiple toes. They are also fondly known as Hemingway cats as the poet use to admire their abnormal digits.
Over the years, Beato kept growing, to a whole 20 pounds! His paws were like a lion’s cub, and his tail long and bushy. Even his whiskers stretched out over 6 inches. I didn’t know if this was normal for a Persian cat, or Beato was a big cat, or I was feeding him too much. It was only after a few years I discovered through a friend that Beato is a Norwegian Forest Cat and he is actually medium for his breed!
And He was Named
How did I chose the name Beato? Most pets tell you their name subconsciously or they just look like one. Beato looked like a happy boy to me. He was always playing, purring, and very affectionate. So, I called him Beato which is a Latin word that means happy, lucky or blessed. You can find names in Portuguese, Spanish and Italian – Beto, Beato.
When Beato moved in with my husband and me, he also got a 7-year old Cairn Terrier as his brother. Since day one, Beato has looked up to Ruso (Russo was a famous Russian philosopher) as his big brother and likes to do everything he does. He gives Ruso frequent head bumps (greetings), often times followed by a playful nip or chase around the living room. Beato will run to the door to greet us, chase the ball unable to retrieve with his feline instincts, play with stuffed animals, and try his best to join in any soccer games. When Ruso goes out for a walk, Beato sits by the front door, meowing anxiously for his best friend to return.
A day in the life of Beato
Beato is an indoor cat. Living in suburbs of Atlanta, I decided to keep him indoors so he is safe from traffic, fox (we have some in our neighborhood), other cats and diseases. Also, I have lost two cats before who were allowed to go outdoors. They brought me countless rats, bunnies and dead birds as presents in the middle of the night. Too much love! He does like to admire the outside world through the many windows around my house. If he sees birds and rabbits outside, he will window hunt by moving his tail, focusing his gaze and meow.
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Beato likes to dance (especially in the morning). He likes to drink water from the faucet, as I’m brushing my teeth, and play with water droplets hitting the shower door. If I leave a glass of water unattended, he will drink from it too.
Most of the day, Beato will hang outside my office door and watch guard. When he feels playful, he will climb on to my desk and knock off all my papers and pens, not realizing the strength of his huge fluffy tail.
Beato also likes to sit guard by his books. I keep a few boxes at home and he would generally sleep next to them. Whenever I have a open house book signing at my place, Beato takes position on the table right by his books, ready to welcome guests!
In the evening, Beato likes to watch TV with me. He stretches out on the back rim of the sofa (which I call Acropolis or higher city), so he has a vantage point of what everyone is doing around the house.
Though Beato does not travel with me, he is always on my mind. Beato likes to sit in my suitcase while I’m packing, and inspects all my luggage once I get back. I know he misses me a lot because he does not leave my side once I return from a trip. At night, Beato always stretches out beside me in bed and we sleep together, side by side.