I had an incredible urge to sink my fingers into that magnificent coat. Or, worse, lay my cheek against the powerful shoulder. The purr seemed to intensify, until that was the only thing in the world I heard. I shuddered, grasping for control.
“You’re stealing my will, or trying, aren’t you Mister Cat?” So the cat wanted to play?
My life is fairly lonely. It’s not something I dwell on, but the closest friend I have is Clarence, so an offer of friendship from this big cat didn’t seem too far-fetched or unwanted. Tentatively, I reached a hand to touch.
I froze in mid air. What did I want to feel—the brow, the neck, the belly? I looked darkly at him, and dropped my hand.
“Almost had me, didn’t you?” I stood up and brushed my new dress off disgustedly. And then as an afterthought I murmured, “Oh, and thanks for the clothes.”
It was his turn to stand mesmerized. I don’t usually have that affect on males of any species, so his attention got mine.
I headed back to my buggy. Clarence twitched his ears at me, as if to say, get a move on Missy, but he didn’t seem overly alarmed at the big cat that accompanied me to my conveyance.
I climbed in and took up my reins, prepared to leave. Before I urged Clarence toward home, I leaned down and murmured advice to the cat.
“The sheriff was at my house today asking about a marauding cat that’s killing livestock. If it’s you, quit. He said it had been shot.”
The cat stood, shoulder level with the seat of the buggy, one ear cocked, listening. I wanted to smack his nose. Instead I grasped his jaw with both hands and stared straight into hypnotic amber eyes.
“I missed the bullet last night, so today I could tell the sheriff the truth—I didn’t treat a cat for bullet wounds. I won’t lie if he asks again.” I dropped my hand, took up the reins and drove Clarence toward my shack, trotting homeward at a fast clip.