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.
You can see how closely this photo borders on scary, right?