A statement, not a question: we were both wearing face masks with cat pictures, in the check-out line. I nodded.

“I got eleven of them, twelve if you count the one buried in the yard.” Seeing my interest, she added, “And I got two possums, three raccoons, and a couple of rats.”

She told me that one of the raccoons comes up to the sliding door because she feeds it hot dogs.

I said, “If I were a raccoon, I would show up for hot dogs.”

We nodded together about hot dogs. And then I had to pay, and go.