Am noticing something interesting: Ampersand was not a happy cat. Her early life was rough and she was just too traumatized to really ever be at ease. I think she was thankful to have a warm place to sleep, people to keep her company and decent food to eat, though. The best I could do in her case was to make the end of her life better than the beginning.
Magnolia, on the other hand, seems to be a happy cat at heart who just went through some recent tough times. As the shelter folks thought might happen, she is starting to blossom into a more confident, strong animal. On watching her break up a fight between the boy cats today, I got the impression that she just might end up the boss of the house.
The Good Ship Maggie. Just got word from the vet: aside from some bad tartar and gingivitis, she's in good shape. Need to get a tooth cleaning scheduled soon.
Apparently, like me, she's a nervous eater when she's unhappy. Have her on a diet and am exercising her a good bit with the laser dot. She's going to be okay.