Whiskers taut, front teeth bared: I opened up to chapter 6, not remembering what was about to happen until I read the opening song. I worked hard to make sure each song snippet conversed with the events of the chapter in interesting ways. There were many songs I wrote because I liked them but didn't use because they didn't work well enough with any chapter.
Page 70: Miri physically aches with loneliness. I've felt this way before. Poor gal.
"She fell asleep without resting.": I just did a search in my first draft and found this line: "Cold and miserable, she fell asleep without resting, dreaming that she was locked in a coffin, hearing shovelfuls of dirt thumping the lid." I must have liked that bit buried in the middle and pared off the excess, whittled the sentence down to its best part. I approve of that edit, Seven-Years-Ago-Shannon.
Also, originally the now-non-existent Ingir locked Miri in the closet and Olana rescued her. Better this way.
"The tip of a tail licked her cheek.": Eek! I don't have a rat phobia but this would Freak Me Out. It's the darkness aspect that makes this event so much creepier for me. If there was a rat loose in my house--gross, but okay, I'll grab a broom and wage battle. But I'm locked up in the dark, unsure what I'm facing and how to fight back? Nightmare.
Singing in the closet: Miri needed this scene to jump-start her inquiry into quarry-speech. She could have just wondered about it, but a story is always better when action leads to action.
I'll get to your questions tomorrow, sorry! Weekend is all family time, not much computer time.