Unaccustomed to being loved directly, Baker looked up at the boy suspiciously. Being a cat in a dog-loving house, he was used to getting his affection second-hand, a stray elbow perhaps, brushing his flank as the dog’s belly was being vigorously scratched. Baker had never been lifted into the boy’s lap before, let alone petted, with both hands no less, and narrowed his eyes to better see what trick was about to be played upon him. He was prepared to leap in an instant.
But nothing happened. Only more petting. And now his ears were being rubbed, just the way he had always dreamed. How could it be? All of this affection and with the dog nowhere to be found? It was truly beyond a neglected cat’s comprehension. But it was happening. And when the boy dug his fingers deeper into his winter fur, Baker couldn’t help but let his guard down just a little and arch his back ever so slightly in contentment. He found himself purring. Purring, and helplessly kneading the boy’s lap, making the bread for which he had been so rightly named.