Strange Life of a Cat - Chapter 168
Chapter 168 If It’s Head, We Go. If It’s Tail, We Stay
Er Mao asked the pet center to conduct an all-round examination for the black and white cat and its overall condition was not bad.
The veterinarian estimated the cat’s age. To Er Mao’s surprise, the cat was less than a year old.
“Oh, by the way, Mr. Wang, do you want to sterilize your cat?” The lady asked, and told Er Mao about the benefits of sterilization in urban rearing.
“Sterilization? Need to cut the little pee-pee?” Er Mao was texting on his mobile phone, and his head was not raised.
The lady frowned for a while and then said: “…Your cat is female.”
“Female?!” Er Mao said in shock.
Holy sh*t, it was a female and still that fierce?!
“Why is it that the way to distinguish females from males is different between cats and dogs?” Er Mao remembered that dogs are easy to identify.
The lady smiled. Obviously, she had seen many customers like Er Mao. She took out a thin booklet from the cabinet and handed it to Er Mao. Inside were some basic facts about cats.
Er Mao roughly flipped through the pages, “How much is this book?”
“This is printed by our pet center, so I’ll just give it to you.”
That was more like it. Er Mao tossed the booklet into a plastic bag.
In the end, Er Mao decided not to do the operation and took that cat, who had been washed clean, vaccinated, and fully examined, back to his place. Meanwhile, according to the address that Er Mao provided, the pet center delivered all the things he bought to him.
As soon as the cat’s things were positioned around his apartment, Er Mao suddenly felt that the space in the room became smaller. Thank goodness the purchases were all small items, otherwise it would be really crowded.
He poured cat food into the newly cat bowl, and that cat who was sniffing around in its new cat bed came over. To his somewhat disappointment, the cat did not seem to be a picky eater and ate very vigorously.
It seemed that he could not trouble that cat upstairs for the time being.
Ignoring the cat, Er Mao opened his laptop that he had bought not long ago, and logged in to the pet website.
The account ID “GoodNamesAreAllTakenByCats” was created three years ago. At that time, under the influence of their master’s cat, he and his fellow martial brothers went online, browsing through the pet forum, to see if other people’s cats were as virtuous as their master’s cat. Back then, this ID was shared by several people, but now it was used by Er Mao alone. The others no longer paid attention to the forum, even Er Mao himself if it was not for that incident some time ago, otherwise he would not have remembered nor logged in to this account again.
Nowadays, the Internet was growing rapidly in China. The forum itself had changed a lot in recent years, and there were people sharing video links.
Er Mao searched for pictures and videos of that big shot upstairs. It was just like what the lady in the pet center said. Most of the popular posts about cat food included that black cat. And many of the people who replied below also came for that black cat, the “BC fans” that the lady mentioned.
Even after scrutinizing the cat in the picture in utter disbelief, he still attributed the effects of pictures and videos to the magic of photography technology. Otherwise, how could it be possible to shoot a very normal-looking cat into a cat with a changeable temperament in photos and videos? Not to mention, cats were not people. How can there be any acting skills? He would never believe it even if beaten to death. It was reckoned the lady in the pet center had no idea of BlackC’s true persona, otherwise she would not be highly laudatory toward it. After all, the gap between the advertising pictures and the real thing was enormous.
The next day, the weather was very bright and sunny. After the rain yesterday, the temperature rose quickly.
The black and white cat was lying on the balcony, basking in the sun. Er Mao, on the other hand, was tired of doing nothing and tried the comb that was given to him for free when he bought the cat body wash. The pamphlet that came with it said that combing the cat could not only clean up the shedded hair on the cat over time, but also it could prevent the cat from swallowing the hair when grooming itself and accumulating in its stomach, leading to getting trichobezoars. It can also maintain the beauty of the cat’s hair, promote the blood circulation of the skin, and enhance the relationship between the cat and its owner.
Anyway, Er Mao had nothing to do, so he moved a small stool and sat next to the cat, combing through its hair according to the instructions in the pamphlet. After a few tries, he became familiar with the movements. Seeing the way the cat squinted, Er Mao suddenly felt a sense of achievement. See, it ain’t that difficult to raise a cat. Then how come the people he met before gave weird and grimaced expressions whenever talking about raising cats?
Er Mao was complacent when suddenly ——
The sound of hitting the iron net came from diagonally above.
The cat, who was lying on the ground squinting and basking in the sun, quickly got up on its feet and looked over toward where the sound was coming from. During its vagrant period, it had become accustomed to being highly alert.
Er Mao also stopped combing its hair and looked over. Inside the iron net, stood a blue parrot with its big claws hooked onto the iron net. It stared at the human and the cat on the third floor with its round yellow eyes.
General’s attention was mainly focused on the cat. He did not know that cat nor had he seen it before. When did it come here? Well, his mouth was a bit itchy.
Perhaps sensing the hostile signal from the parrot, the cat pressed down its ears and looked vigilantly at the parrot on the fourth floor.
Er Mao thought it was nothing. Cats and birds were not easy to get along with to begin with. His master’s cat went to the woods every day to catch birds, regardless of whether they were small or big. However, this kind of parrot was rare to see within the country. No wonder the balcony on the fourth floor was surrounded by barbed wire.
Looking at the parrot on the fourth floor, Er Mao called at it with a playful attitude, “Yo, parrot!”
General trapped within the iron net quickly replied with standard American pronunciation and slightly dialect words: “Hello, stupidass!”
Er Mao: “…” Who the hell taught this f*cking parrot?!
Up on the balcony of the fifth floor, Zheng Tan was rolling with laughter while listening to their exchanges below.
General definitely became hostile after he saw the cat and even continued to provoke Er Mao in that way.
Zheng Tan and the others who lived on the upper floors of Er Mao’s, directly above, could not see the situation over at Er Mao’s place, but Zheng Tan could picture the general situation through the dialogues between Er Mao and General and the low growl of the cat. Fortunately, the people living in this building had a great tolerance in this respect. Otherwise, there would be troubles later in the future.
However, with Er Mao and that cat on the third floor attracting General’s attention, that bird would not be bothering Zheng Tan often. This made Zheng Tan very pleased.
Propping up his ears to further listen to the quarrel below, a rhythmic car horn sounded from the courtyard downstairs.
Zheng Tan looked downstairs in suspicion. Today is not the weekend. Why did Fang San Ye come here?
Confused, Zheng Tan still ran down to open the door.
Fang Shaokang brought Tong Qing in. Ever since the cat car was hauled to the Jiaos’ home, every time Fang Shaokang took Zheng Tan out, Tong Qing would come up to help move the cat car. The cat car might be small, but its weight was not light at all. Not to mention, it had to be moved all the way up and down five floors. Tong Qing was not going to watch his boss personally go into battle moving the car.
“I happened to have time today and made an appointment with Liu to talk about something. Because I have to go on a business trip this weekend, the time is set for today. I have already told your human mom, and I will send you back in the evening.” Fang Shaokang said, asking Tong Qing to move out the two cars that were put in the room.
Every once in a while, Fang Shaokang would take Zheng Tan to Liu’s place to talk about business. As some people said, communication also depended on the method of approach. However, there were very few people like Fang Shaokang who used cats for communication, and unexpectedly, Liu only fell for this ploy. No, it should be said that Liu’s precious son fell for this ploy.
After Er Mao heard the parrot cursed at him “stupidass”, he was ready to curse him back but then remembered this was the faculty dormitory of Chuhua University. So he kept his mouth closed. He planned to buy a water gun and whenever the parrot cursed him, he would shoot at it.
Er Mao collected up all the combed out cat hair and balled them up. Actually he didn’t comb out much. He was going to directly throw it downstairs, but after thinking about it, he thought he should behave better and throw it into the trash bin with the garbage bag. Seeing that the garbage in the bin was almost full, he lifted out the garbage bag and tied it in a knot. He opened the front door and put it outside for now. Once he went back downstairs, he would take it with him. As soon as the temperature rose, the garbage would easily start to smell. There was also a cat at home, and he had heard a lot of things like cats knocking over trash bins.
Who would have known that as soon as he opened the door, he saw Zheng Tan who happened to be on the third floor.
“Oh, Mr. Superstar…”
Glancing at the man on the stairs, Er Mao’s face stiffened up. He stifled back his about-to-be-said-but-did-not sarcastic remarks, then quickly retracted into his room and closed the door.
Fang Shaokang called back Zheng Tan and motioned Tong Qing to wait first. Then he went up to the door of Er Mao’s apartment and knocked.
“Open the door. Stop hiding. I have seen you.” Fang Shaokang calmly commanded.
“Don’t have time, I’m taking a sh!t!”
“I’ll give you ten seconds to wipe your ass. Ten–nine–eight–”
Fang Shaokang looked at the watch on his wrist and counted down not any faster or slower than a second in between, not giving a damn about Er Mao’s avoid-by-sh!tting lie.
Right when Fang Shaokang counted to one, Er Mao clasped his head in disappointment and reluctantly opened the door. He internally cursed countless times why he decided to throw out the garbage at this time!
After his feebly greeting, he lifelessly walked back to his room.
Fang Shaokang looked at the room, then looked at Er Mao comfortably sitting on the chair. “Going out to beat up who this time? Or is it that you took a fancy to which girl?”
“Then you must have misunderstood me. I have already turned over a new leaf from a prodigal son. I am an honest and good-hearted young man, who has repented sincerely and mended his mistaken ways, abides by the laws, knows his place and behaves himself with a sense of self-discipline, goes by the five emphases, four beauties and three loves principle, is unsoiled by corrupt practices and has a loyal heart to the motherland, Uncle San!” Er Mao quickly clarified.
Zheng squinted at Er Mao. Bullsh!t! This schmuck had beaten people, picked locks, executed vengeance, and almost killed a person and abandoned their body.
Fang Shaokang’s expression did not change as he looked at Er Mao: “Prodigal son turning over a new leaf?”
“Uh huh!” Er Mao nodded.
“Repented sincerely and mended his mistaken ways?”
“Yes, yes!” Er Mao hurriedly pledged.
“Abides by the laws, knows his place and behaves himself with a sense of self-discipline?”
“A honest and good-hearted young man?”
“I don’t believe a single word that came out of your mouth.”
Er Mao: “…” His face was full of grievances and indignation.
“However, I am surprised that you will choose this place to rent. It seems that you are indeed trying to change… Of course, the premise is that you are not here seeking female college students.”
“Absolutely did not have that motive at all!”
Fangshaokang looked around the room again. Compared with the place where Er Mao used to live, this place was rather shabby. Moreover, Er Mao now did not look so punky, and his clothes were much more casual.
“Turning over a new leaf is a good thing.” Fang Shaokang sighed with profound emotion, and then called Zheng Tan before he left. He did not have time to talk nonsense with Er Mao here, and plus he could not boss around other people’s children. At most, as an elder, he could make a few remarks.
“Hey, Uncle San…”
“I won’t complain to your parents. Your brother has been delegated and is busy making political achievements. He is now not in Chuhua City. You can rest assured for the time being that no one will come to drag you back.”
Er Mao let out a sigh of relief, but why was Uncle San so nice to that cat? Wei Ling had never mentioned it.
After Zheng Tan and Fang Shaokang left, Er Mao was sitting in his chair pondering.
“Black Rice, do you think we should take a walk?” Er Mao poked the tip of the cat’s nose lightly.
“Meow—— ” It could not understand what Er Mao said and thought Er Mao was just playing with it. It tilted its head and rubbed Er Mao’s hands with his head.
Er Mao sighed. Forget it, let’s stick by the old way.
He took out a one-yuan coin and set it upright on the tiled floor with one of his hands. With a flick of his finger, the coin started spinning.
“If it’s head, we go. If it’s tail, we stay.”
When the cat saw the toy, it smacked down on the rotating coin and pressed it under its paw.
Er Mao lifted up the cat’s paw and looked at the coin lying on the tiled floor.
 Cats are creatures that groom themselves frequently by licking themselves. Their tongues are barbed which function like a comb, removing the loose hair, but as they do so, they swallow them. Normally the swallowed hair gets passed through its gastrointestinal tract and excreted as feces. However, there are chances where the hair becomes tangled among itself and/or other things in its stomach. This can lead to accumulation of hair in the stomach, forming trichobezoars (a.k.a. hairballs). Cats with long hair, like Persians and Ragamuffin, and those with gastrointestinal disease are more prone to getting trichobezoars.
 Known for being a cat bully who likes to bite cats’ ears, General was itching to bite Black Rice’s ears.
 The five emphases, four beauties and three loves is a principle introduced in 1981 by the People’s Republic of China, which included emphasis on manners, beauty of language and love of socialism
The Five Emphases: Emphasis on decorum, emphasis on manners, emphasis on hygiene, emphasis on discipline, emphasis on morals
The Four Beauties: Beauty of the mind, beauty of the language, beauty of the behavior, beauty of the environment
The Three Loves: Love of the motherland, love of the socialism, love of the CPC
 On the front side of the coin, there is the number 1 with the Chinese character for yuan. On the reverse side is a chrysanthemum flower. [Fun fact: Chrysanthemum is one of the four flowers used to represent the four seasons. Chrysanthemum represents autumn, Orchid represents spring, Bamboo represents summer, and Plum Blossoms represents winter.]