Charlie's Mom Dahlov adopted Chelsea Girl in the fall of 2014, when Chelsea was about 4 years old and Dahlov was almost 97. Dahlov had lost her previous cat a few days before, and had said that she didn't think she'd get another cat - but when a close friend showed up with a picture of Chelsea (who was "working" as a greeter for a rescue society a few towns away) - it was love at first sight. Pat Reef took this picture of Dahlov and Chelsea a few days later:
It's interesting - Chelsea always wants to see what was happening (and in fact she's sitting in the back part of my chair trying to decide if the keys on the keyboard are worth pouncing on while I'm typing this) - but even though Dahlov was quite willing to feed her a few morsels from the table, she doesn't seem interested in people food.
We brought her home with us the night Dahlov passed away - and because we had said goodbye to our almost 20 year old cats earlier that month (see Farewell to Tilahun and Tejitu), we didn't have to worry about introducing her to other cats on top of the other changes in her life - but we did wonder how she would fit in, because our apartment - and our lifestyle - were rather different from what she had grown accustomed to while living at the farm. We soon discovered that she would try to fit into practically anything, whether or not it was really designed for a 16-pound cat.
We also found that she wanted to help out around the house - we brought this crate in to pack up a few things that needed to be moved to another room - and Chelsea immediately realized it would be much easier to pack the crate if was properly measured before we tried to use it - you'll see it's not as tall as a cat, but wide enough if the cat doesn't need to turn around too often!
We did also stay at the farm a couple of times this spring and summer, and Chelsea came with us each time. She is still not fond of her cat carrier - but seems comfortable there (though I think she'll be a bit surprised the first time we bring her down after the renovations!). After a quick check to make sure that her litter box and food dish were where they belonged - and to make sure no one had left any treats in the studio - she generally wanted to check the cellar, and would disappear down there for hours. We did know it was an old house, and there probably were places mice could get in - but we still were surprised when we woke up in the middle of the night to see her on the bed pouncing on something! Happily she decided to carry it to the bathroom next, where Charlie could close the door and capture it - and I'm sure the mouse was happier in the lower barn where he was set free in the morning, and Chelsea seemed quite happy to curl up and sleep the rest of the night after all that exercise. One other thing that she liked about being at the farm - there were a number of displays of dried flowers - and she thought they were quite delicious! Our friend Prue Cancian caught this picture of Chelsea at the farm in June, hiding in plain sight while waiting for us to turn our backs so she could nibble on some of the dried grasses.
There have been some adjustments all around (and she may be the first cat we have seen who snores - gentle little purping noises - but still a bit startling until we got used to them - she of course sleeps on the bed at night) - but we are happy to have her in our lives, and I think she's happy here as well. This is a picture Charlie took a couple of days after she came to live with us, showing her snoozing on a throw on the back of the futon in our office, under a painting Dahlov did of a scene she saw through her bedroom window.
Added - click here for Chelsea's next adventure - Chelsea and the Yurt