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"Drop it, Kasha," Hess demanded, kicking his blanket to the floor.
"If you'd just go visit him for an hour...."
"Cat's trashed. Emma junked him forever. Creepin' skimmer."
Rudy felt his familiar heat rise from across the porch. "She's gone."
"How do you know?" Kasha's eyes narrowed.
"The jello belltone waved when I passed Deedee's Tavern yesterday."
"Passed?" Rudy's stomach turned toward her spine.
"Fell into," Hess capsized into a glare zapping the air.
"Uh-huh," Kasha resettled into the varnished wicker. "What was she wearing?"
Hess choked softly on his grin. "A muumuu."
Rudy chuckled. "Yeah. That's her."
"An itty bitty muumuu," Hess jingled to a 50s tune.
"Go see him," Kasha snapped back.
"No." Hess dug the balding back of his head into hammock netting.
Rudy scooped a handfull of beads from the basket beside her table tray to hurl them toward Hess. "Go."
The clatter startled Old Yeller awake onto striped paws. Flexing sharpened claws, she batted a few against the shingled cottage frame. With a meow that sounded like, "Noooooo," they rolled as if in agreement under the sagging hammock ropeknots.
"Still your kitty," Kasha muttered, bending for a scoop to aim at his head. "Go. Now."
"Can't. Afraid I'll slip on loose junk to the door."
"Aha. You still blame me for taking her in last year."
"I told you...." Hess began hoarsely.
"Drop it. We have that tee. In too many colors and sizes," Rudy warned, ceding this cycle to her mate.
Old Yeller crawled up the screen to jump from their railing onto her finder's chest, settling the question of 'to ride or to rest' with a wide-mouthed yawn and nuzzling her head against the bared neck of Hess, as his eyelids covered wetnesses of regret.