The House, Part 10/x.

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“They dislike the area?” I asked.  Animals react differently to the supernatural than people do; or so I have been told, over and over and over again.  It would be mildly annoying to find out that possibly one should pay attention to a cat or dog’s antics, after all. But Betty shook her head a second time.

“It’s not like that,” and she said my first name. I was less happy about it in her mouth than in Wayne’s, but I am good at hiding annoyances.  Besides, she was telling me things I didn’t already know, which is something I like to see in a person. “They always seem to like it fine when they’re here.  But turn your back on a dog in the yard, or leave the door open too long for the cat, and when you turn around, they’re gone. And they never come back. Some families, try three or four times to get a pet before they just give up.” 

Betty leaned back, and made the twitch I knew to associate with an ex-smoker.  Judging from the way she was talking to me, I suspected I would be reasonably grateful for that.  “Me, this was my parents’ house. They sat me down and explained that this was just how things were, around here. Nobody could keep pets, they’d go away.”