"Meow… Galaxy… Meow… Galaxy"
The Lucky Cat enjoyed chasing its own tail. It seemed like it had accepted the name "Galaxy," but when Zhang Zian looked at his cell phone, its origin and true name were still "locked." His hope of increasing his favorability with the cat was now lost. However, it didn’t appear to be scared of him anymore.
He wanted to complain about how this game’s favorability level started below zero. It was almost sunset, and the solar street lights were on. Zhang Zian felt a little bit hungry.
He cleared his voice. "Hi! Do you want to eat anything? Or would you like me to prepare a cozy nest for you?"
The navigation elf said the Lucky Cat didn’t need to eat, but what if it did? Feeding was a shortcut to building good relationships.
The winter was relatively cold in Binhai City, but most of the residents had no heating system, so the store was selling warm, semi-enclosed cat nests.
"Meow… No… Meow… Galaxy hated the nest… Dark and small…" The cat immediately showed strong resistance. "Okay! No nest, then!" Zhang Zian got scared and broke out in a cold sweat, as it was the first time that the cat had clearly hated something.
He bit his lips. "How about you sleep on my bed, and I sleep somewhere else then?"
"Meow… Galaxy would rather stay here…"
It seemed to like the empty first floor. It left the little rosewood leaf it had treated as its base and expanded its activity circle from fifteen centimeters to fifty centimeters.
"Mm… Not a problem. You can stay anywhere you want in this house. By the way, my name is Zhang Zian. Hello, Galaxy."
"Meow… He… Hello…" The cat was too shy to show its face.
"I am about to do some cooking upstairs, then I’m going to take a shower and do laundry afterward. Are you all right staying here by yourself?"
The cat nodded.
Zhang Zian quietly went upstairs like a thief. He walked into his own bedroom, closed the door, and lay down on the bed, totally exhausted.
It was very tiring to take care of this Lucky Cat; it was like holding priceless china. He had to focus all the time, avoid saying any wrong words, and not make any moves to scare it.
Meanwhile, Zhang Zian was almost a hundred percent sure that the cat had psychological trauma, which one hundred percent came from a human.
He wasn’t too concerned about why it was called Lucky Cat or how mysterious its origins were. He just wanted it to have fun like a normal cat... If his favorability level increasing could help with this, he would try his best to do so, at any cost.
Like other men his age, Zhang Zian didn’t like cooking. He was only good at scrambling eggs, cooking instant noodles, and cutting things like sausages. Because of such limitations, he often went to small eateries. Now he had to eat instant noodles and sausages, or he’d be leaving the Lucky Cat alone in the store. The Lucky Cat became so quiet on the first floor that, on several occasions, he thought it had escaped or disappeared, just like shadows in a dream. Zhang Zian quietly went downstairs and saw the cat staying behind the front big glass door, looking at the sky. Its eyes reflected the galaxy, just like its name.
The bright moonlight shone on it, leaving a clear shadow on the ground. Not moving even a bit, it seemed, unrealistically, that the cat would melt in the moonlight in the next second. It appeared to be so real that it could last forever. It was fragile but powerful, and its unspeakable presence was heartbreaking. Breaking the silence here was almost disrespectful.
The night was cold, so Zhang Zian gently slid a cushion towards the cat on the floor and then quietly went back upstairs.
He woke up at midnight and went to the restroom. After he was done, he became a little alert when he thought about the cat. He quietly walked down and saw it curled up on the cotton pad, sleeping soundly under the moon and stars. After midnight, he did not go back to sleep. He opened his computer, surfing the internet to search for some factories which could customize the crib…
The next morning, he walked downstairs with dark circles under his eyes. The sky was now barely bright, but he had set today as the official opening day, so he needed to prepare in advance. "Good morning, Galaxy!" The Lucky Cat was already awake, but it was still lying on the cotton pad. Through the glass door, the Lucky Cat was curiously watching the pedestrians walking along the street. Some people seemed to be on their way to work, some seemed to have just gotten off from work, and some seniors in silk practice outfits, carrying swords, seemed to be going to the park together for some morning exercises. To be honest, these elders looked more energetic than the younger people, because they had gotten enough sleep.
The night before, Zhang Zian did not close the roll-up door, but just locked the glass door from the inside. There was nothing to be stolen in the store anyway. He had never heard of a thief that only stole pets. The Lucky Cat seemed to feel safe behind the glass door. Only, when people passed by the door, the cat would curl up on the ground. It seemed to be telling people: "You cannot see me! You cannot see me!" When the Lucky Cat heard Zhang Zian’s greeting, it wagged its tail, "Meow, good… good morning..."
"OK. Let’s get to work!" Zhang Zian said with confidence and rolled up his sleeves.
The Lucky Cat's attention was transferred from the outside pedestrians to him. The day before, in order to prevent the new pets from being frightened, Zhang Zian put them into the display cabinet right after he came back, without cleaning up. But now, he at least had to clean the pets, as they had to face the customers directly. Combing the pets’ fur and removing the odors from a variety of animals mixed in from the breeding base were necessary steps to getting ready. Every pet shop had a special sink to bathe the pets with. It was usually located in a small room. A completely open area was not favorable, because it could not guarantee the temperature while bathing, especially in winter. On the other hand, the noise from the hair dryer would also disturb the customers.
Zhang Zian did not have any experience bathing pets, so he had chosen two kittens and a puppy. Compared to ten-pound adult cats and twenty-pound adult dogs, kittens and puppies were much easier to take care of. Moreover, right now their fur was short, which was easy to comb. Long-furred adult cats and dogs were much more complicated to clean. The fur would never finish drying within one or two hours. During the time his parents ran the shop, it was always his mother who bathed the pets in the morning and his father who cleaned up the whole store. Every morning she could only bath one pet before the store was open. But anyway, pets didn’t need to take a bath every day.
The consequences would be very serious if the pet’s fur was not dry enough. Fungi, eczema, and mites would stay at the bottom of the warm and humid fur zone. Pets couldn’t tell people that they felt itchy, they could only keep rubbing and rubbing… Zhang Zian did not rush to challenge himself with the epic task of cleaning the kittens. He just dipped the comb into the water, combed their knotted fur, cleaned up their tear ducts and ears with cotton balls, and then wiped their faces. Finally, he blow-dried them and put them under the sun. He called the nearby floral shop and asked them to send over two flower baskets.