Many a reader successfully guessed the animal for “Golden Cheerleader” was “Golden Retriever”, so today is a day of raining cookies. HUZZAH!
In the actual game, Catalina would have guessed this rather easily. The reason for that is the actual card would clearly be labeled with the keyword “dog”. This is because certain forms will move differently depending on proximity to certain animal types.
So why wasn’t that keyword on Catalina’s card? Playtesting!
Worth noting, however is that when I playtested the game, I didn't actually know what animal the Golden Cheerleader was (or that I was even going to call it "Golden Cheerleader"). I just knew what it's effect would be, which we just might witness ourselves a bit later...
I chose the angle in the first panel specifically to show the “R” for “Rhoda” chip on the space she’d acquired. I used color coded chips to keep track of who owned what while playtesting, and I’m pretty much doing the same thing with lettered chips for this storyline.
It’s not the best angle for telling in the second panel, but the “R” has already become a “C”, meaning Catalina’s in the lead with 1 point (8 or more wins).
I considered leaving Rhoda’s hair color alone and having just the ears and tail be Golden Retriever-like, but black hair is the most time consuming for me to do with the highlights and overlapping eyebrows that can be a mix of grey and black, so... Yeah. Hair color change won by virtue of being easier to do in a storyline with three characters with long black hair.
Interesting bit of Trivia, but Super Saiyans in Dragon Ball have blonde hair for similar reasons. It was way easier for them to have white hair in the manga than to ink in black hair, so when the time came to make a Saiyan go super, they took that opportunity to make things easier to ink.
What could have happened
Catalina didn’t HAVE to buy Rhoda’s spot. If she hadn’t, it would have given Rhoda the option to transform Catalina (for TRESPASSIN’!), but she wouldn’t have to, either.
While transforming a trespasser who failed to buy your space away on their turn can be a good strategy at times, it’s worth remembering that players draw cards at the END of their turns, not the beginning. It can leave one with fewer options on their own turn.