Zhang Zian rushed downstairs and took a glance around. There were no traces of Galaxy, and the bell on the glass door was still hanging quietly. He went back upstairs and carefully searched his bedroom, the kitchen, and the living room again. While searching, he left the doors open, staring at the hallway the whole time, but he still didn’t find Galaxy. "Could it have gotten into those two locked rooms?" Although he didn’t think that was the case, he still opened the doors to his parents’ bedroom and the storage room. The furniture in his parents’ bedroom was still as it had been when his parents were alive.
The cat was nowhere to be found; it was not under the bed, in the cabinet, under the desk, or on the balcony. He entered the storage room again, where there were extra cages, display cabinets, and a bit of debris. It was impossible for the cat to be hiding there. Zhang Zian was in a panic now, blaming himself for playing hide and seek. Now it was totally messed up.
He spoke out anxiously, "Galaxy, I surrender… I can’t find you, where are you?"
Just when he thought that he would not receive a response, he heard a "meow" from downstairs. He rushed downstairs and found Galaxy sitting in the middle of the shop, circling around joyfully. "Meow… Galaxy won… Meow… Galaxy won…" Zhang Zian blinked again and again, feeling reassured. But where had it hidden?
"I lost. I surrender. Galaxy, you are good at playing hide and seek. Could you please tell me where you were hiding?"
"Meow… Here… There… Here… There…"
Did the words "here" and "there" mean it didn’t hide in a fixed location, but was running between two or more places? However, there was only one set of stairs, so it had to have run from the second floor to the first using the stairs. Zhang Zian had paid great attention to the stairs during his second search. He was certain that it had not appeared there.
Quite weird! It raised his curiosity and competitiveness, so he squatted down and said, "Galaxy, let's play hide and seek again tomorrow, okay?
"Yeah! Meow! Galaxy likes hide and seek!"
The next day, the little girl brought a few peanuts and almonds to the store, as expected, and fed the small hamster through the hole. It seemed that she enjoyed watching it eat more than she enjoyed eating. She played for about ten minutes before leaving. After the little girl left, Sun Xiaomeng rushed in and threw a bag of buns to Zhang Zian before she went straight to trying to please Galaxy, but she failed again. Once in a while, several seniors would stop by on their way back from their morning exercises. However, after asking for the prices, they left the shop, shaking their heads.
Zhang Zian did not feel disappointed or surprised. Anyway, the seniors that tended to be picky about the price were not his target customers. As they said in the antique industry: an antique shop won’t make a profit until three years after it opens. A pet shop could not be compared with an antique shop, but it was similar. It could at least be said like this: a pet shop would make a profit after being open for three days.
Whatever happened, he would not choose to raise the sales by selling cheap pets, because people often don’t cherish cheap things. When there were no guest in the store, Zhang Zian decided to play hide and seek again with Galaxy. "Last time was just a warm-up!" he announced. "Now I’m serious! I’m afraid of myself when I’m serious! This time I am sure that I will find you!"
"Meow!" Galaxy ignored his claim. As a matter of fact, this time was simply a replica of yesterday. He still did not find Galaxy, and after he gave up, Galaxy re-appeared on the first floor again.
On the third day, Zhang Zian felt fully confident, because he was determined to become a hide-and-seek expert. Today, being well-prepared, he was confident he would be able to break the mystery behind Galaxy’s trick. After the game began, he counted to one hundred while Galaxy finished hiding. Zhang Zian went upstairs backward, carefully placing a thin layer of flour on each step. There was a ninety degree corner halfway up the staircase, which meant it was impossible for Galaxy to jump directly from upstairs to downstairs; it at least had to pause to change directions at the corner. As long as Galaxy passed through the stairs, it would leave traces of flour. He cautiously looked around on the first floor several times to confirm that the cat was not on the first floor, and then he moved on to the second floor. But this time, after he surrendered, Galaxy still appeared on the first floor. There was no footprint on the floured stairs. Zhang Zian had to admit that there must be some kind of trick! If possible, he really wanted to put a ring directly around Galaxy’s neck, but for hide and seek, that was too shameless…
The fourth day.
"Well, you won’t go crazy because you don’t have customers, right?" Sun Xiaomeng asked.
Zhang Zian looked up confusedly. "What? What did you say?"
"I said..." Sun Xiaomeng crossed her arms, looking him up and down as if he was a patient. "Why do I feel something is wrong with you? You seem out of your mind. Do you want me to give you a checkup?"
"Leave me alone! You are out of your mind. You are a vet. How could you give me a checkup? Be careful, otherwise I will sue you for seeing a patient without the proper license! In fact, I was thinking, didn’t you hear that serious men were the loveliest people?" Zhang Zian responded.
Sun Xiaomeng pouted. "Come on. You are thinking? I bet you were daydreaming!"
Zhang Zian raised his hands, pushing her out. "You’d better take care of your own business! Speaking of no customers, there isn’t much difference between us, right? Otherwise, would you be spending your time here?"
"Hahaha!" Sun Xiaomeng laughed out loud. "In fact, I came in person to tell you that somebody made an appointment to see me today." After saying that, she ran away. Zhang Zian's attention had been completely transferred to how to catch Galaxy, so it didn’t matter if there were no customers. Today he was ready to go all out. The mills of God grind slowly but surely! He still used the flour, but this time he scattered the flour on each room upstairs instead of the stairs. He closed the doors before he started the game.
The game started as usual. When he searched from the first floor to the second floor, and opened his bedroom, he saw an incredible scene. The only place that had Galaxy’s tracks was in the center. The thin flour layer was rubbed off a little bit, which showed that Galaxy was just lying there, leaving four small claw prints.
There were no footprints from the door to the center of the room. It seemed like it had suddenly appeared in the center of the room and then disappeared. He opened the kitchen, his parents’ bedroom, the storage room, and the living room, and saw its footprints were in the center of each room. No wonder it was here... It was there...
The cat could move between every room instantly. He had a slight clue about the origin of the Lucky Cat… It was definitely a sad story. "Galaxy, I throw in the towel," he said. "Meow! Galaxy won! Galaxy won!" The voice came from the first floor again."
"But tomorrow I will definitely catch you!" he issued a declaration of victory.