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April 20, 2006: Finding her voice

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There has been such a change since we first brought Checkers home. Instead of hiding all the time, she pretty much now pops her head out of wherever she's been lurking the instant I walk into the room. She has a lot of opinions and is more than happy to share them with us, but luckily she's got a much quieter voice than Sebastian so it's actually pretty cute.

She is, amusingly, still living in the library and the linen closet, but at this point we have very little to do with it. Despite the fact that we've had the door open pretty much all the time now for weeks, she has decided that the library is her territory and she should not actually be required to leave it. In fact, she will come right to the edge of the room and stand in the doorway and holler for one of us to come in and play with her, and no amount of coaxing will get her to place even one dainty little toe over the threshold unless it is on her very exacting terms. I suspect it does not help that we usually give in and go to her rather than the other way around. We keep discussing whether or not to remove her litter box and make her use the main ones (we've caught her in the regular boxes once or twice so she does know where they are), but unfortunately there are still some unresolved issues. Or rather, there is exactly one unresolved issue, who goes by the name of Rosemary. Rosie has taken to going in and sitting right by wherever Checkers is lurking, lying in wait for her to poke her head out so that then they can have a yelling match. We're trying to do the usual things - removing Rosie and distracting her with toys elsewhere, trying to give Rosie extra attention, and occaisonally even shutting the library door so Checkers can have some peace, but so far, we seem to have reached a stalemate in the integration process where Rosie is concerned and I am not quite sure what to do about it.

But aside from the problem of Rosie being a little snot, things are going well. Checkers is very sweet and playful and opinionated enough that I am not missing Allegra as much anymore, which was one of the primary reasons we wanted a tortie in the first place. She has her own little quirks and I suspect that we will continue to learn more of them over time. And like any good self-respecting cat, she has us well trained, as you can see in this little video Richard took of us playing the feline version of Fetch. Notice, if you will, which participant is 'tossing' the toy and which one is 'bringing' it back.

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