Something pushed on my leg. I cut a look at Steve-o to my left, thinking he was giving me a private signal to check somebody out, but he was talking to Lucas, so I looked down.

A cat was standing on its hind legs, one front paw on my thigh, one front paw tucked up against its furry chest.

All us guys were so bored the summer after 10th grade, it sounded like a good idea when Brent said, “Hey! Let’s go out to Rat-Trap!”

I mean, that wasn’t something you did. Oh, sometimes tough guys went out there to drink or fish with guys they knew from school, and sometimes somebody who came from there would go back to visit. Nobody just went there.

He never took the alley home, but he did when we came back from our anniversary week at the resort. The rear garage door creaked and rumbled from disuse, stuck partway, then inched up far enough for him to pull in. I was afraid it would stick, but it closed more smoothly than it opened.

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