“Cute.” I already knew quite a lot about the personality of Libby's tuxedo kitty and learned a new tidbit every time I shopped for groceries. The sixty-ish woman lived alone with the cat, and she spoke about the pet the way a mother speaks of a favorite child.
“That Hitchcock is one lucky fella gettin’ all these treats,” she said, “even if he is the bad luck cat.”
“He’s–” I stopped and clamped my lips together. I knew from experience that repeating the words – not bad luck – for the hundredth time would do no good. It annoyed the heck out of me that the people in Lavender continued to judge Hitchcock by some ancient legend and didn't give him credit for all his good deeds.
Libby continued scanning the groceries from my cart. “You stockin’ your pantry or gettin’ ready for the contest?”
My basket contained two pumpkins, several bags each of flour and sugar, and enough miscellaneous baking supplies to suggest I planned to take part in the annual Pumpkin Days Festival Bake-Off.
“Haven’t decided,” I said, “but I dreamt about pumpkin pie last night, and I won't sleep again until I have some.”
Libby totaled my order and began sacking the groceries. “Did I ever tell you about the time Oreo dropped her catnip mouse in my cake batter when my back was turned?”
More than once.
I nodded and stuck my bank card into the reader to make my payment. “And your cousins freaked when the cake was cut.”
“Did they ever. Wouldn't take one bite. I thought it was sweet, like one of those Mardi Gras cakes where you find the little baby inside.”