Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 10 Changes And An Apology
“Mashiro, it’s time for dinner.”
Mashiro’s voice was prolonged and shrilled in response to me. She walks up to me, sits down and stares at my face.
“Hold on a second. I’ve got a little something for you today.”
After putting the usual cat crunch on her plate, I take out something from the refrigerator.
Today, I bought a fresh fillet of Thai fish from the supermarket.
I’ve been secretly in love with white fish lately. It’s light and bland, yet it has a strong flavor.
When it comes to finding something delicious that both Mashiro and I can eat, there is no better place than the fresh food section of the supermarket.
Maybe it was because of this that I’ve been eating out or eating convenience store lunches less and less these days.
Of course, I don’t cook everything, and I rely on frozen foods in many cases, but I felt that my eating habits were clearly improving.
I’ve been using my frying pan more and more, which I hadn’t used much before.
“Thanks for waiting. Then, Itadakimasu.”
After seeing that Mashiro had started eating, I quickly took a bite of the Thai fish.
I carefully removed the bones with my chopsticks, cut it into bite-sized pieces and brought them to my mouth.
I don’t have any elaborate seasoning… To be exact, I just can’t do it exactly right, but it was still light and simply delicious.
As usual, Mashiro was eating slowly but well.
Since I started living with Mashiro, life has been more fulfilling than ever.
Not living alone has been stimulating in many ways, and combined with my selfish enthusiasm to cherish Mashiro, my habits have improved.
If I had to give an example, I would say that the way I spend my days off has changed a lot.
In the past, I would use the fact that I didn’t have any particular hobby as an excuse, and would spend my days sleeping past noon.
However, since Mashiro’s arrival, this has not been the case.
Unlike me, Mashiro’s sleep pattern was more scheduled. She always wakes up before I do, and waits for me to wake up.
Although she doesn’t climb up on the bed to wake me up, when I wake up and find Mashiro, our eyes always meet.
It was natural that she was hungry in the morning, but waking up every morning locking eyes with her was tense in a way.
Therefore, as a result of succumbing to Mashiro’s silent pressure, I inevitably could no longer sleep in on those mornings.
My lifestyle was not the only thing that changed. With more time off, I recently decided to resume reading, which was my original hobby.
I used to do it every day when I was a student, but I have not been able to do it as much.
After I finished eating, I turned on the TV for Mashiro and took out a book from my cardboard box.
Inside the box are books that I brought with me when I moved here from my parents’ house.
Even though there weren’t many books packed into the moderately sized box, I remember it being the heaviest out of all the boxes during the move.
Although I had read them in the past, reading them after a long time gave me an indescribable sense of joy.
I read the book while sipping my after-dinner cocoa elegantly with the sound of the TV acting as white noise.
After reading for a while, the TV program changed and I heard a familiar sound. I closed the book and stretched.
Back then, I never really was able to finish an entire book once I started, but now I’ve been able to finish over half of my books, reading each book in one sitting.
The TV was showing a program that Mashiro always watched.
The content was very simple, focusing on natural scenery and wildlife, and the images are shown with calm narration.
It was not particularly interesting, but it was a calm and relaxing program that’s perfect for a peaceful evening with Mashiro.
There are many things that Mashiro was interested in watching, but it made me think a little when nature was what interested Mashiro the most.
I wonder if this implies that Mashiro wants to go out into the world.
Ever since I picked her up, Mashiro has been living inside the house.
Looking at her daily routine, I noticed that she liked watching nature on TV, or looking out of the window at the scenery outside, for example.
I have often heard that if you take a cat outside, it will run away. I can’t imagine this happening with Mashiro’s behavior, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m worried.
After all, that’s only my thought as her owner. If Mashiro wants to leave me, I can’t help it.
But at least I don’t spend my time with Mashiro with such a light heart that I can easily abandon our current relationship.
And I want to be the kind of owner that Mashiro would want.
I want this house to be a place where Mashiro can truly feel glad that she came and stayed.
If I had a garden like my parents’ house, I could let Mashiro out without hesitation, but unfortunately, this apartment only has a parking lot.
My current motto was to let Mashiro do everything she wants and needs to do, but there was nothing I could do about letting her outside.
My heart ached a little when I saw Mashiro’s eager gaze on the TV.
A little bird was chirping pleasantly on the TV, and Mashiro’s ears twitched in response.
I gently stroked Mashiro’s head once.
What I wanted to say was not such an apology, but the words spilled out of my mouth naturally.
Mashiro turned around and stared at me with her round eyes.
I smiled at Mashiro to hide the vexation in my heart, picked up the cocoa on the desk and took a sip.
The cocoa, now quite lukewarm, felt sweeter than usual.
[TLN: Not sure how he finished reading over half the books in one sitting. Either: 1. He’s a madman, 2. He doesn’t have many books and they are short, or 3. We have a catgirl so maybe reading this much isn’t crazy.
I definitely would die if I do so Dunno you guys duke it out in the comments or something.]
[EDN: He didn’t read over half the books in one sitting guys; it’s just whenever he read a book he finished it in a day, and over half his books were read like that. TL has gone insane from the amount of translating don’t mind him.
Or I could totally be wrong.]