Mandarin Orange, Kotatsu, And A Found Cat - Chapter 47 A Walk With The Cat
“Mashiro, do you want to go for a little walk?”
The day after Sakakibara and Ayano-san came, I asked Mashiro as she rested after lunch.
After she understood my words, she looked at me with a blank expression.
“A-A walk…is it?”
“Yeah. After dinner, you know, sometimes.”
After I picked up Mashiro, I tried not to go out too much for no specific reason, but it was something I used to do on a surprisingly regular basis.
It wasn’t uncommon for me to use my lack of hobbies as an excuse to go for a leisurely stroll to a nearby park.
I heard that the number of people taking their cats for a walk was gradually increasing, but I was too anxious to do anything about it.
Even if Mashiro was in human form, I couldn’t let her go out dressed like that with cat ears and a tail.
“Y-Yeah. Is that okay?”
“Isn’t it boring for Mashiro to be inside all the time?”
Perhaps my words had hit the nail on the head, but Mashiro’s voice trailed off in a shrill whisper.
I had sensed for quite some time that she was interested in the outside world.
There were hints of it, like her staring out the window, or the way she liked to watch TV programs with natural scenery.
Still, she never mentioned it. She still takes care of me every day and does everything around the house.
Yesterday, she even listened to my selfishness and I was able to spend a very fulfilling and enjoyable time with my friends.
I can’t thank her enough for all of that, but I want to give her more freedom little by little.
“I’ll have to think of a few ways to do that, though.”
I can’t let her go outside with her tail and cat ears hanging out, so she’ll need clothes that could hide that somehow.
In addition to that, I would like her to avoid being seen going outside if possible.
Especially if the landlord finds out about it, it can be quite a hassle to explain afterwards.
“Hmm, if Mashiro can take the form of a cat, that would be safer…How about that?”
“I’ll do that.”
Considering the risk of someone finding her leaving the house, it wouldn’t be much of a problem if Mashiro was in cat form.
I thought it might not be such a bad suggestion, but I did not get a good response from Mashiro.
“I know this is selfish of me, but can I say this…?”
“Yeah, whatever you say.”
“If it’s possible, I’d like to go outside…in this form.”
Mashiro conveyed her intentions to me by looking at my expression.
I was so happy to see Mashiro expressing an opinion that went against my idea.
It was rare for Mashiro to be so selfish with me.
She always placed me first. It made me happy, but it also made me frustrated.
I want her to be more open about what she wants to do and what she likes to do. That was the most important thing for me right now.
“Okay. Well then, let’s start with the clothes.”
“Ah, um, Sato-san. Thank you for…”
“That’s my line. I’m the one who invited you.”
I smiled brightly at Mashiro, who still looked worried, and patted her head to reassure her.
Then, unusually, Mashiro shrugged her shoulders in embarrassment and her cheeks turned red.
Lately, she had been more letting, and when I stroked her head, she just squinted her eyes in a pleasant way, but it had been a long time since I had seen such an expression on her face.
After that, I rifled through my wardrobe and pulled out a hoodie that I thought would hide her cat ears well.
This way, if anyone saw her, they would only see her as a girl I knew.
“Here, let me lend you this.”
“Thank you very much.”
When Mashiro put it on, it was quite saggy, but in a way it was perfect for hiding her tail and cat ears.
As I looked at her head again, I noticed that even though she didn’t have the hood on, I couldn’t find her cat ears, which were her charm point.
“I felt that her head was lacking fluffiness.”
“F-Fluffiness? Are you talking about this?”
She put her hand on her head, looking at me with a dumbfounded expression. Then she let go, and the familiar ears appeared.
“Ahhh…I didn’t know it had a storage function.”
“I’m just trying to be inconspicuous by putting them down.”
I think I was shown this when we first met. At the time, I was angry at her for calling it a magic trick, but in a way, I think it was still a magic trick.
That aside, Mashiro now looks like a normal girl.
“So you didn’t need to wear the hoodie?”
“Yes, but I’m worried about it, so please let me wear it.”
“Really? Well, if Mashiro says so.”
Mashiro looked a little uncomfortable. This was the first time she’s been out in human form since I met her. Seeing her like this, I also become somewhat nervous.
Thinking about it, it has been a long time since I’ve walked outside alone with a girl.
With a bit of nervousness and anticipation, we proceeded to prepare for our outing.