This is a good opening, Bella. An interesting character and the dualised relationships with cat, father and mother.
I think it starts at a good point, right into an interaction that lays the groundwork for a complex relationship. Some minor things that struck me were the early ‘tell’ of Bert that others have mentioned, and a sense that the nerves/dread/tension in Bethany were a little too strong. By which I mean, I imagine phonecalls like these were fairly familiar to BEthany, so I’d expect more fatigue and resignation, perhaps frustration, instead of such obvious anxiety. THere might be scope to make her reaction more subtle which would have set more of a hook for me, left me feeling curious about their relationship, rather than feeling like I actually got a fairly good sense of their dynamic by the end of the scene. But that’s me speaking from my personal preference, of course.
But definitely not too slow a start at all. I like your summary of the plot at the start – sounds intriguing!