I feel a small surge of annoyance and resentment when the guy sits next to me on the bench outside the vet's office and takes off his mask, even if he is downwind, and I instinctively pull the pet carrier in my lap a little closer. My cat, disturbed by the movement, yowls her disapproval despite her lethargy, attracting the attention of the man's dog, who shoves his nose into my crotch underneath the carrier before being dragged off by the maskless man.
A few minutes later, the nurse comes to the door and, after a few questions about why we're here, takes the carrier from me. She quickly disappears into the dimness of the vet's office, and I am left, standing on the sidewalk outside, my hands empty.
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