I wisely refused to reply until I was able to call her once I reached the airport. As it turned out, she and her sisters had discovered a kitten outside our window. The tiny black ball of fluff was irresistable, and - of course - the girls got to keep it.
As you can see, the puffball has settled in quite nicely. The vet estimated her age at around 4 weeks when the girls found her, so she's almost 6 weeks old now. She came nicely equipped with fleas, but those were eliminated after a few harrowing days. Charlie spends her days chasing the dog, guarding us from the dangers that lurk beneath the entertainment center and suffering silently as Miss P drags her hither and yon. She's a good little cat and a nice addition to the family.