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Chapter 219: The Cat Isn’t A Freeloader After All [Part 1]
The doors of the repair shop were opened early in the morning.
Here in this region, a large majority of the people living here didn’t have the money to buy a shop lot of their own. Therefore, they converted part of their own houses into a shop instead. Some people converted their first floor into a shop while they lived upstairs; some converted the front part of their houses into a shop while they lived at the back. The point was shops were basically joined together with the housing, which was why this region was a little cramped and distributed asymmetrically. From the sky, this region looked like irregular cracks opening up on the ground.
The surrounding buildings weren’t tall. Buildings that were five or six storeys tall were rare, and most were either two or three storeys tall. Shabby and old flying cars that were comparable to Udoze’s as well as small, decrepit spaceplanes that flew above the building complexes were everywhere in the area.
Old Chang’s house didn’t have a wide surface area, but it did have three floors. The first floor was the shop, while the second and third floor were the accommodation. The house had a lot of rooms probably because of the dense population.
The room Cillin was staying in was one of the bigger ones in the house. It used to be Old Chang’s bedroom, but Old Chang forewent it so he could stay and take care of his four grandsons and granddaughters.
Although the triplets were only five years old, they were all very thoughtful kids who gave Old Chang a lot of help despite their size. For example, Chang Six and Chang Eight helped by passing parts and scrubbing machines after Old Chang opened the shop. They also passed him a glass of water when they saw that he was tired.
Chang Eight was a girl; she was the kid who hid behind the door and avoided approaching Cillin at the beginning. She wasn’t as open as her two brothers when she was before a stranger, but one only needed to look at her eyes to know that she was just as clever as her two brothers.
“Grandpa, Seven went to annoy that brother and skipped work again!”
Chang Eight passed over a glass of water to Old Chang and complained with a pout.
The triplets used to work together in the repair shop. However, the naughty Chang Seven had ditched his brother and sister again to visit Cillin.
Old Chang patted his granddaughter’s head and smiled, “It’s fine. I told Seven that he can watch our guest, but not interrupt his rest. Seven will come down on his own once he gets bored.”
Old Chang knew his grandson well. Cillin spent most of his time sleeping because it was the only way he could recover to full health faster. Therefore, Cillin was normally asleep when Chang Seven went to his room. Since no one was around to pay attention to Chang Seven, and Chang Seven himself wasn’t an idle kid, Old Chang was sure that he would come back down very soon.
It wasn’t that Old Chang was completely unwary of an outsider, he just couldn’t help but feel the overflowing sympathy for Cillin. In his mind, Cillin was a young kid who risked his life for money by undertaking a space maintenance job. Old Chang might not be doing well himself, but he would never allow his grandchildren to work in such a place. When he recalled his own life experiences that were similar to Cillin’s when he was younger, Old Chang couldn’t help but sigh to himself: Cillin’s life must be so very harsh.
Old Chang’s guess was wrong this time, however. Chang Seven had stayed inside Cillin’s room for a very, very long time. Why was that?
When Chang Seven went upstairs to look at the brother who only ate, slept, and medicated himself everyday again, the first thing he saw upon entering was a gray cat sitting on top of the short table beside the bed.
Old Chang couldn’t detach himself from his work the moment he started, so he made sure that Cillin’s daily portion of food and pills were put on the table first. This was so that Cillin could eat them immediately after he woke up.
Right now, Chang Seven was staring at the cat that was diagnosed to be dead some time ago burying its face into the food that was prepared for Cillin. Chang Seven’s mouth fell open as he fell into a slight daze.
Noticing Chang Seven, the gray cat looked up and cast a listless glance at the kid. After deciding that he wasn’t a threat, it went back to chowing down the food.
At first, Chang Seven wanted to call out to his grandpa, Six and Eight to come look at it, but grandpa said that one mustn’t be loud or noisy before a patient’s presence. He could run back to them and tell them about the cat, but he didn’t wish to leave because he was extremely curious about the cat.
He was just a kid after all. He couldn’t hold back his curiosity once it was piqued.
Chang Seven slowly shuffled his feet closer to the gray cat as he looked at it. He eventually made it all the way to the table, but the gray cat never once looked up from the food. Its ears were flicking in accordance to Chang Seven’s movements though.
Seeing that the gray cat wasn’t looking at him at all, Chang Seven bit his fingers and said in a soft voice, “Kitty!”
The gray cat’s ears flicked, but it still didn’t look up.
There were two reasons behind the gray cat’s disregard. One, it was eating and was in no mood to pay attention to a brat. Two, it had no idea what the hell the brat was saying.
Chang Seven continued to bite his fingers after getting no reaction out of the gray cat even after he called out to it twice. Chang Seven became bold, and he lifted his chubby, dimpled hand to poke at the cat’s head!
He immediately withdrew his hand after he poked his head. The brat wasn’t that lacking in common sense.
The gray cat finally looked up and cast a glance at Chang Seven. Its eyes were still lazily half closed, and its mouth hadn’t stopped chewing. After blinking once at Chang Seven in a lazy manner, the gray cat went back to its war against the food.
Now Chang Seven was stirred up. He tried to poke at the gray cat again after it looked down to its food.
This time however, he failed to poke at the cat a second time. That was because the gray cat had slapped his hand with a forelimb and stepped on it. Of course, the gray cat hadn’t extended its claws. It had interacted with humans long enough to know some basic common sense.
The gray cat didn’t look up despite all its movements. It continued to work hard at eating while stepping on Chang Seven’s chubby hand.
Chang Seven didn’t cry because his hand was stepped on though. In fact, he even let out a chuckle: It didn’t hurt!
Of course it didn’t hurt. The gray cat had neither exerted strength nor extended its claws. In fact, the pad on its paws made Chang Seven feel very comfortable.
Chang Seven’s playfulness was piqued now that he wasn’t afraid. He withdrew his chubby little hand and covered it on top of the gray cat’s paw immediately.
The gray cat finally looked up again and licked its mouth once. The brat was chuckling at him right now.
The gray broke into a lazy yawn and was about to lick its paw out of habit when it noticed that the situation was amiss. So it pulled its paw from beneath Chang Seven’s chubby hand, licked it, wiped its face and put it back on top of Chang Seven’s hand once more.
Change Seven was so happy that he giggled out loud. He pulled out his hand and placed it on top of the gray cat’s paw again.
The gray cat: “…”
When Cillin woke up once more, he saw two childish fellows playing the amazing game of cover-a-paw (hand).
Cillin dared wager that the cat wasn’t completely awake yet. There was no way it would be patient enough to play a game like this with a kid otherwise.
Chang Seven looked so happy that he could jump to the sky though. Sigh, immature kids are happier than most.
Noticing Cillin’s awakening, the gray cat finally opened its eyes in full and withdrew its paw. It then swiped its tail lightly across the brat’s face before jumping to Cillin’s side. It didn’t dare jump directly onto Cillin’s body because he was still in recovery.
“You’ve finally woken up, Cillin!” The gray cat exclaimed happily while walking towards him. Its head was finally clear.