Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 15 Cat's Morning Call
One day, I was awakened by the alarm on my phone as usual.
With my eyes half open in bed, I reached for my phone to stop the alarm.
My hand, which was flopping in the cover, unexpectedly touched something other than my phone.
The touch was new to my memory. It was fluffy and a little addictive.
I was doubting it at first, but when I opened my heavy eyelids, I found Mashiro staring at me.
“…Good morning, Mashiro.”
I spoke to her as I stroked her head, and she rubbed her face against my hand and replied, “Nyao.”
I wonder if I was still dreaming, but I was sure that this touch was real. No doubt.
Fortunately, today was a day off, just like yesterday. Feeling the softness and warmth in my hands, I fell into slumber again…
…As I was about to go back to sleep, something pressed my arm.
From my ear, I heard a cute little Mashiro cry. It sounded like she was asking for something.
I opened one eye and glanced down to see that Mashiro was hitting my outstretched arm with a modest cat punch.
“Oh, five more minutes…”
When I tried to fall asleep again, she kept plucking my arm to disturb me.
In a way, I felt as if I could fall asleep using her voice and touch as a sleep-inducing drug.
However, she doesn’t usually wake me up this hard. In the first place, its rare for Mashiro to try to wake me up.
Maybe she has a reason for wanting me to wake up early.
Either she was really hungry, or maybe there was a TV show she wanted to watch early in the morning…I don’t think the latter is true, but if there was a reason, I can’t just stay in bed.
Even though I was a little sleepy, I pulled back the covers and sat up. I got out of bed, opened the curtains, and went to Mashiro.
“Good morning, Mashiro. What is it?”
I sat down in front of Mashiro and patted her head once before asking her.
However, Mashiro was unconcerned, and when she realized that the morning greeting was over, she walked toward the window with the curtains open to bask in the sun.
…I wonder what I was woken up for.
There is an old saying that “the early bird gets the worm” is the best of the Three Sentences of Virtue, but I wonder if I was woken up for such a motherly reason.
I’m happy to have encountered the rare event of having Mashiro wake me up, but I feel like I don’t know what’s going on.
[TLN: Three Sentences of Virtue: 三文の徳]
It was a day off, so there was no need to rush.
As of now, I started preparing breakfast as I normally do.
After I finished preparing both my own breakfast and Mashiro’s, I called Mashiro, who was lying by the window.
Breakfast was the same as usual: toast and hot cocoa. Mashiro’s breakfast was the same as always.
In my case, this breakfast had become a habit, but I wondered if Mashiro would ever get tired of eating the same thing.
I had planned to change things up if Mashiro was frequently leaving food behind or hesitating to eat, but she hadn’t left any food behind once so far.
She eats her food the same rotation as me, and almost never complains of hunger during snack time.
I had thought that owning a cat would be a lot of work and hardship, but apparently it was not so bad.
I understand that a lot depends on the personality of the cat, but in Mashiro’s case, she might be a typical type of cat that doesn’t need much care.
I had thought that Mashiro and I were getting closer lately, and Mashiro probably feels the same way.
However, I think it was more correct to say that she has become a friend that I can talk to without hesitation, rather than that she has started to spoil me.
It was not that I understood Mashiro’s language, of course, but I have the feeling that we’ve both come to understand what the other was thinking.
Well, to shatter my illusion, I got a good punch in the morning just now…
But even so, I felt this mutual understanding especially as we went about our days.
I put my hands together, and when I said that, Mashiro meowed in response. Mashiro was a very polite cat, as you can see.
As usual, Mashiro’s behavior was not only human-like, but also cat-like. I’ve gotten used to her behavior.
If I were to spend time with Mashiro based on the image of a cat I have in my head, the gap would be too big to follow.
Even though Mashiro was in such a good condition, after eating a good meal, she goes about grooming herself like a cat.
I put away the dishes and sat down on the sofa. I wondered if I should turn on the TV, but after seeing how Mashiro was doing, I decided not to.
Mashiro seemed to be in the mood for sunbathing today, and when her grooming was finished, she went back to the window.
I’m not in the mood to watch TV either, so I decide to read the rest of the book I was reading.
When Mashiro spilled the cocoa, this book and my phone were caught in it, but luckily the damage was minimal.
The phone was waterproof, so a quick rinse with water was enough to take care of it, but the book was not.
However, as I have said many times before, the original cause was me. That’s why I’m reading the rest of the book without throwing it away as a warning.
After reading for a while, Mashiro came to sit next to me, apparently satisfied with her time in the sun.
But when she saw the book I was holding, her expression hardened and she stopped.
I closed the book and tapped my knee, and she cautiously walked up and stared at my face.
I don’t think Mashiro was responsible, but I can understand why she would think so, given her personality.
“It’s nothing to worry about. I’m more relieved that Mashiro wasn’t hurt than I am about the book.”
I touched Mashiro’s cheek.
Caressing her gently, I smiled slowly to reassure her.
“So don’t look at me like that. I don’t need anything else as long as my precious Mashiro lives happily.”
I don’t know what kind of past Mashiro has.
She may have been in a more affluent and comfortable place. She may have lived a quiet life, not necessarily a wealthy one.
I wonder what Mashiro was thinking in the cardboard box on that snowy day.
Was she thinking about what would happen to her, and what she hoped would happen to her?
I decided to give Mashiro as much warmth as I could that day, to make her forget all the coldness she had received.
I would make this house a place where Mashiro would think, “this is the happiest place I’ve ever been in my life.” With this ambition hidden deep in my heart, I spend my days with Mashiro.
“If you don’t mind, please continue to stay by my side.”
Mashiro listened to my words with sincere eyes.
Then she slipped out of my hand and laid down right next to me, closing her eyes quietly.