An update from Penny-land.
She got a pacifier-shaped Kong a few weeks ago, which we've been stuffing with peanut butter to buy ourselves a few moments' peace. It's a hit.
Penny loves cats. Ever since the very first day I brought her home and she met my parents' cat Oliver, she has tried to make friends with every cat she encounters. (It should be noted that the friend-making meets with limited success. Ollie tolerates her, but my aunt and uncle's cat hates her with a fiery passion and tries to swipe at her when she comes too near. The neighborhood cats generally regard her with deep suspicion.)
When we came home from dinner at my parents' house earlier this week, there was a white kitten hanging around my garage. In my garage after I opened the door to park the car, in fact. Penny and I walked around the car to herd the kitty out of the garage, and she got freaked out and ran, but a few minutes later the kitty returned. Penny really, *really* wanted to be friends, so I let her go closer (on a leash so she wouldn't run after it). The kitty hissed a little, but came closer and touched noses with her. Penny and I went in the house and I set a little milk to tempt the kitten back.
I had left my kitchen door open and only the storm door shut so that Penny could look out at the kitty. When next I looked in the kitchen, the kitten was standing up on my stoop with her paws on the window, looking through the glass.
So I let her in.
And she made herself at home.
I started calling her Smudge because of the little grey blot on her head - it looks like someone got grease on their thumb and wiped it off on her. After a short visit I let her back out to hunt and I haven't seen her since. Her mama lives across the alley from me (I've seen several others of the litter running around the neighborhood). Maybe Penny can have an outdoor cat friend, so I won't have to change a litter box!
These are unrelated to the cat story, but this is what I saw when I went into my bedroom yesterday morning:
She heard me come in, so she roused herself to see what the fuss was about.
What a goober.