WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT???? Cutter said.
This is Lola, your new little playmate, I said.
arf, said Lola.
Cutter stopped staring at Lola and turned his gaze on me. Whatever made you think I’d want to play with a rat? he said.
I sighed. It’s not a rat, it’s a puppy.
Cutter looked back down at Lola. It’s a rat, he said.
It’s a puppy.
Cutter paused and said, Ok, let’s suppose it is a puppy. Whatever made you think I’d want to play with a puppy?
Well, I, I mean we, Miss Carol and me, thought you might be lonely, I said.
Cutter looked over at Lola, watching her teethe on one of the metal barstools. He sat and cleared his throat.
So let me get this straight, he said. A year and a half after you take Tug somewhere and don’t bring him back, you figure I might be lonely so you bring me a rat to play with.
It’s a puppy, I said.
And, well, um, yeah, it does seem kinda silly when you put it that way, I said.
Indeed, Cutter said, as we watched Lola wrestle with the welcome mat, dragging it across the hallway floor.
grrr, said Lola.