This is Ramona, on her way home from the Humane Society on Thursday. She is a 1.5 year old, whose sweet and gentle nature belies her underprivileged beginnings as a pregnant teenage stray. As you can tell, she has the most exuberant flourish of white whiskers on her long pointed, jaguar-like face. She also has really long arms and legs and, as the Resident Offspring so astutely observed, white ankle socks on her hind feet and white fingerless gloves on her front paws.
She had likely never been inside a house before and was very shy when we brought her home, wasting little time in wedging herself between the wall studs under the basement steps. After a couple of hours, during which time she did not appear to have moved (we could really only see her hind end) our growing concern necessitated a bizarre scenario in which the RO had to wriggle between the upright beams into the box graveyard under the stairs in an effort to extricate her. After some stressful moments, a heroic effort, and a whole lot of dust, the RO was ultimately successful.
Ramona settled into the rest of the basement quite nicely, finding little hidey places, but coming out to purr and bump against our legs and be all lovey when we came down to visit, which we did often. We anticipated that we would have a basement-dwelling cat for a week or two.
But then last night, a switch was suddenly flicked. Up came Ramona from the basement, hopped onto the chesterfield with us and began talking. After that, she quickly explored the other levels of the house, poking into all the bedrooms, gazing in amazement out the living room windows, walking the fireplace mantle. She is getting used to our stomping and loud-talking ways.
She is still a little skittish and cautious, bolts at the sound of the toilet flushing and hates the screechy back door when it slams shut, and she is still a little uncertain as to why I have moved her food and water into the kitchen. But she is a total lover, full of gentle kneading and hugs and cuddles.
Although in real life Sputnik would have ripped Romana to shreds, I think her spirit approves.