Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 45 The Cat And Sakakibara
At any rate, I couldn’t have them stay in the doorway like this forever, so I retrieved Mashiro from Ayano-san and sent them up to the living room.
In a small voice, I asked Mashiro, “Are you okay?” in a small voice, and she nodded with an unsuspecting “Nya.”
Once they were in the living room, the photo session began, with Ayano-san holding her smartphone and enthusiastically snapping the shutter.
Speaking of Mashiro, she didn’t seem to mind having her picture taken and was lying on the bed, taking advantage of the fact that she wouldn’t be touched.
Sakakibara and I sipped tea while watching the scene.
“Did your girlfriend always like cats like that?”
Sakakibara shrugged his shoulders and laughed.
“No, I didn’t know that either. But after seeing Mashiro-chan, she seemed to be completely obsessed with it…”
Sakakibara’s expression was quite downcast as he spoke, and I could sense the hardships he was going through these days.
I deeply sympathize with Sakakibara, but as for me, I understand Ayano-san’s feelings as well.
Likes and dislikes, fads and fashions come and go suddenly and unexpectedly.
I started watching videos and pictures of cats when I picked up Mashiro.
Ayano-san must have been inspired by Mashiro, just like me.
“Well, Mashiro’s cuteness is the best in the world. It can’t be helped that Ayano-san is.”
“I don’t deny that…but that just makes me sound like a foolish parent.”
He admonished me with a sigh, as if I were the second Ayano-san.
No matter what people say about parental stupidity, parents are the ones who are closest to their children and love them more than anyone else.
That was the most important thing to remember as a family and as a parent. That’s how I see it.
…To be honest, I’m not sure if I’m doing a good job as Mashiro’s guardian.
Although I call myself a family member and a parent, I still don’t know if I can be such a big deal that Mashiro would think of me as such.
“Well, leaving that aside, she really is a beautiful cat, isn’t she? Mashiro-chan.”
“That’s right, that’s right.”
“…So why is Satou so proud?”
Sakakibara looked at me with a dumbfounded expression as I nodded confidently.
Sakakibara, still giving off an air of wanting to say something, sighed and then turned his gaze back to Mashiro.
“But looking at her like this, I think I can understand why Ayano likes her so much.”
Sakakibara spilled his words as he stared at Mashiro, who was being photographed by Ayano.
His profile was gently smiling with a soft look in his eyes, and he had the same expression he had when talking about Ayano’s love life at work.
We’ve known each other since high school, and we both seem to have similar tastes in animals.
“Come on, come on, you can touch it too!”
“I don’t mind, I’ll just watch. I’m sure Mashiro-chan will get tired.”
Although they were similar, Sakakibara’s reserved personality made him reluctant to touch her directly.
He smiled and refrained, but at the same time he seemed to be somewhat fidgety.
Ayano-san must have sensed Sakakibara’s feelings, because she began to stroke Mashiro as if to tick Sakakibara.
“It’s so nice and fluffy and smooth…?”
Sakakibara was damaged by her triumphant face, letting out an involuntary cry.
This boyfriend, who was not honest, was conflicted when he saw Ayano stroking Mashiro with the elegant hands of some queen.
It was very nice of him to take care of Mashiro, but I feel bad that Sakakibara, who has always taken care of me, has to take care of himself at times like this.
“Come on, come on, you can touch it all you want now, okay?”
Mashiro was still just sleeping, not seeming to care about Ayano-san.
If she was still like that after hearing the conversation, she certainly won’t resist much even if Sakakibara touched her a little.
I thanked Mashiro in my heart for her open-mindedness, and pushed Sakakibara in a second.
“I’m sure Mashiro knows that you’re taking care of her. I’m sure Mashiro will forgive you if it’s just a little.”
“Well, if Satou says so, then…”
The two of us persuaded Sakakibara to put his tea back on the table and slowly walk closer to Mashiro.
Mashiro raised her head when she noticed Sakakibara approaching. Then their eyes meet and they both stop moving.
The scene of a cat and an adult man quietly confronting each other while Ayano-san and I watched was a rather interesting picture.
“What is this, so interesting”
“He’s pretty reserved when it comes to animals, isn’t he?”
As I watched the two of them balanced on the battlefield, I sipped tea with Ayano-san.
Sakakibara reached out to Mashiro with a careful hand, as if he were dismantling a bomb, and gently touched her body.
At that moment, her eyes sparkle like a child who has found a treasure, and I can’t help but be smitten by it.
Mashiro seemed to be relieved by Sakakibara’s overly modest skinship, so she put her head down again and began to sleep.
“S-Satou. I think I found happiness here.”
“I know, I know. This is what I do every day.”
“I think you’re getting more melodramatic than I am.”
He wasn’t going in to close the distance as much as Ayano, but he was clearly relaxing his cheeks to a degree I’ve never seen in the usual Sakakibara.
Well, although I say every day, I don’t get to pet Mashiro that often because it was rare for her to be in cat form.
“Is this cheating? It’s cheating, right?”
“Calm down, Ayano-san. It’s a cat.”
“It’s not a good look for a cat. I’ve never seen a face like that before.”
“Well, that’s true…”
When I was talking to Ayano-san, Mashiro’s face was melting when not in front of us.
It was natural for Ayano-san, his girlfriend, to have mixed feelings about this, but I was left with a bit of a churning sensation in my chest as well.
[TLN: EDITOR POPPED OFF!]