I've never been as much of a cat person as I am a dog person. I've never had anything against cats, but because we never had one growing up, I was never extremely fond of them either. Then I came here, and Raoul had Keena, so I had my first real experience of having a cat. I enjoyed playing with Keena, watching her acrobatic feats (like jumping from our bed to the railing of the loft in our old house), getting to know her distinct personality, and watching she and Raoul have full blown conversations (usually about food or whether or not she should be allowed to sit on the top of the fridge). Despite my fondness for Keena though, I've still missed having dogs in the house.

Merlo has been a unique and wonderful addition to the household, and she's been doing her best to fill the role of puppy and kitten (and perhaps squirrel) all wrapped up in one cute, furry, endlessly entertaining package. It seems she somehow picked up on the fact that I'd like to have a puppy, because she displays some distinctly puppy-like behaviour. For instance, she loves to dig holes in the garden, purely for her own amusement. She also likes to get wet and dirty in the drainage gutter at the end of the garden, and she brings rocks and sticks inside to play with. I call her my puppy-cat. If you can picture a sweet, loving, tail-chasing, hole-digging, purring, chattering, meowing, climbing, leaping, cute, bundle of fur, that's Merlo, my puppy-cat.