I put the new wheel - after lubing its pivot with Chap Stick - in Sophia's cage, and all seems well. Then I tossed the new Sparkle Ball for Tatsuko.
You know how I've mentioned lately that she's been the happiest I've ever seen her since her tormentor, sanju_devil_cat, moved away? Well, she did something she's never done before: She played like crazy with the ball - not unusual in itself - but then carried it back to me in her mouth, wheezing all the way (she's asthmatic). She retrieved the sparkle-mouse about five times before deciding to lie down and just play with it on the catnip-laced rug.
I was so cuted out that I cried.
I love my kitty.