Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 44 Nice To Meet You, Cat
A morning on a day off. I woke up earlier than usual and found a white cushion in front of me.
As I reached for it in my sleepy vision, I was enveloped by its warm and fluffy touch.
I hugged the cushion to my face, feeling its pleasant touch, and then I closed my eyelids…again, lured by a comfortable sleepiness.
As I was about to…I suddenly heard a voice that woke me up.
As my brain gradually became more and more awake, I realized my situation again.
First of all, there was no such thing as a white fluffy cushion in this house.
I slowly looked to the cushion and saw a cat with an indescribable face staring at me.
“G-Good morning, Mashiro.”
Mashiro replied to me without seeming to be particularly bothered by the fact that I was feeling quite awkward.
Today was the day Sakakibara and his girlfriend were coming to my house. They were supposed to arrive around noon, but Mashiro had been in cat form since this morning.
I apologized to her and said, “I’m sorry, I was sleepwalking,” before getting up from bed.
The same breakfast was already prepared on the dining table as usual, and the dishes that I had used for dinner last night were already put away.
I guess it goes without saying that Mashiro, who woke up earlier than I did, did all the work.
“Thank you, Mashiro.”
I thanked her and gently patted her head, and she narrowed her eyes and cleared her throat in a pleasant way.
When she was in her human form, I would have hesitated, but in her cat form, I could pet her without any hesitation.
It was the first time I had ever experienced her purring, and since she didn’t seem to mind, I couldn’t help but continue petting her.
What stopped me was the notification on my phone on the desk.
On the screen was a message from Sakakibara, saying that he was going to arrive earlier than expected.
I can only speculate completely, but I think it was Ayano, his girlfriend, who rushed him to go early.
As I imagined Sakakibara being pushed around, I finished my breakfast early and prepared for the morning.
After breakfast, Mashiro and I were enjoying our time together, when the intercom rang less than an hour later.
After making eye contact with Mashiro, I went to the door and opened it.
“Good morning, Satou-kun!”
When I opened the door, there were two familiar people standing there, a man and a woman, and the woman greeted me with a bright and cheerful greeting.
“Ah, yes. Welcome. You’re very energetic this morning.”
“Of course! It’s the day I’ve been waiting to meet Mashiro-chan!
The woman with the bouncy voice and sparkling eyes was Ayano-san, my colleague’s girlfriend, who was probably looking forward to this day more than anyone else.
I couldn’t help but laugh at her innocence, as if she were a child before going on a field trip.
Then I turned my attention to the guy who was supposed to lead her.
“Sakakibara, you’re here too.”
“Yes, pardon my intrudence. I’m sorry you had to make time for me today.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s not like I had any plans on my day off.”
The only hobby I’ve had was reading books in my spare time, and that’s about it.
The only thing that mattered was Mashiro’s opinion. Now that I have that confirmation, I have no reason to refuse their request.
Then Mashiro came walking from the living room, probably curious about our conversation at the door.
She walked up to my feet and peeked out from the shadows.
“Wow! It’s the real Mashiro-chan!”
Despite her boyfriend’s apologetic reticence, Ayano-san approached Mashiro with a look of great excitement.
I was a little worried about Mashiro’s reaction, but she seemed quite calm, checking the scent of Ayano’s outstretched hand.
“Ayano should be a little more reserved…”
Sakakibara interrupted Ayano, who had immediately succeeded in communicating with Mashiro.
“It’s okay, Sakakibara. As for me, I’m glad that there are people who like Mashiro.”
“If Satou says so, that’s fine…But Mashiro-chan might not like it, so be moderate, okay?”
Ayano-san, whether she understood or not, gave a spaced-out reply to Sakakibara’s advice.
Sakakibara seems to be very worried, but I don’t think it’s something he should be overly concerned about.
Ayano-san, too, must have studied cats to a greater or lesser extent, judging from the way she greeted them rather than trying to touch them out of the blue.
Besides, cats are creatures just like people. They will defend themselves against things they don’t like. They will cross the line when it comes to it.
“She’s much cuter and fluffier than it looks in the picture, okay okay.”
While I was thinking about this, Mashiro was already in Ayano-san’s arms.
Ayano-san stroked Mashiro gently with a surprisingly familiar hand, and Mashiro’s eyes narrowed, though she looked a little ticklish.
It didn’t look like she was forcing herself to indulge Ayano, and I was somewhat relieved to see that and narrowed my eyes as well.