Strange Life Of A Cat - Chapter 100
After Fang left, Zheng Tan stayed on the balcony. He took a look whenever a car entered the quarters.
Papa Jiao's car still hadn't arrived when he had to leave to pick up Youzi.
Papa Jiao called during lunch to say he wouldn't be coming to lunch today, so Zheng Tan guessed he was still at the car dealers. He had to deal with this during work hours and probably left all his work to Yi Xin and Su Qu.
He stayed inside the quarters that afternoon to wait for the car. He wandered around a bit, then picked a tree and took a nap.
It was five in the afternoon when Papa Jiao finally came home. However, he came home on foot. Zheng Tan looked at him. There was no car.
Where was the car?
Papa Jiao gave no explanation, so Zheng Tan planned to eavesdrop that night. Papa and Mama Jiao would sometimes discuss matters after the kids went to bed.
After dinner, he watched television with the kids until 9. He waited until they were in bed before acting on his plan.
Youzi wasn't asleep yet, though her light was off. She felt Zheng Tan move and took out a flashlight from under her pillow. "Where are you going Charcoal?"
Zheng Tan shook his tail and looked at the lock.
She got up to open the door for him. She tried not to make any noise and opened the door a crack to let him out. They had done this many times already.
Zheng Tan sat down outside the main bedroom and listened intently. After about ten minutes, Zheng Tan got back into bed in a very good mood.
Papa Jiao did make the purchase today, however, he wouldn't be able to pick up the car until tomorrow. Mama and Papa Jiao also talked about the upcoming holidays. Papa Jiao's younger sister invited them to her kid's birthday party. They planned to drive back home in their new car and bring Zheng Tan with them.
In that part of the country, tenth birthday parties were a big deal. They wouldn't refuse to attend, especially since it was during a holiday.
They then went on to gossip about their relatives, by which point Zheng Tan decided to go to bed.
Because of this, he missed the part of their conversation that concerned him.
Many put their pets into foster care when they went traveling. However, Zheng Tan was special and Mama Jiao didn't want to have him locked in a pet care center. She didn't trust anyone to watch the cat after the incident, so they decided to bring him along.
Papa Jiao's sister lived in the county. Their house was large, but they were probably inviting many people. The party would be at a restaurant, but people would still be coming over to the house. There would be lots of people, and more importantly, lots of kids.
Young kids were the arch enemies of pets. Mama Jiao was worried. Their cat never scratched anyone, but what if a kid annoyed him too much and he attacked? Would there be a fight?
"Don't worry. Her family owns a dog and a cat. The kids get along with the pets. Besides, there are going to be grown-ups around all the time. Our cat is smart, he won't start fights."
"I'm still worried."
"Just let Charcoal follow Youzi and I'll talk to the family ahead of time."
The next day, Papa Jiao came home with the car.
It was a silver-grey family car. It was nothing close to Fang Shaokang's Audi, nor was it as eye-catching as Yuan Zhiyi's car. However, Zheng Tan and the kids were still very happy.
Those high-end cars, at the end of the day, belonged to other people. East, west, home was best. It was the same with cars.
Yuan Zhiyi needed a flashy car because he was now the head of a company and the Audi was already Fang Shaokang being frugal. For the Jiao family, however, a regular car like this was quite enough.
Zheng Tan knew that although the family's financial situation had improved, they still couldn't afford to be big spenders. Papa Jiao had rushed the purchase of this car partly because they wanted to drive the car to visit their relatives. It was also so that Mama Jiao could get used to driving before he went abroad. Riding a scooter around with two kids and a cat was dangerous. A car made transportation more convenient.
The old Zheng Tan would have scoffed at this car, but the new Zheng Tan liked it. He jumped inside through the car window and looked around. The smell of a new car was very weird and unfamiliar. He suddenly recalled how Tiger and Sheriff marked their territory. Of course, he couldn't pee in the car, or else he would never be allowed to ride in it again.
He could also rub his smell on the car. Cats had scent glands near their ears and whiskers. They rubbed their scent on objects to mark ownership. So Zheng Tan started rubbed the car seat and the steering wheel. He sniffed, it didn't seem to be working. So he rubbed again.
People were most comfortable being in a place where the smell was familiar. Even if the room was filled with dirty socks, as long as the person was used to it, he would prefer the smell over a clean room.
People couldn't tell smells anymore after getting used to it. In biology, it was called olfactory adaptation.
So Zheng Tan allowed himself to rub his smell everywhere.
Papa Jiao watched him rub and decided to let him do what he wanted. Besides them, no other family would let their pet act this way in a new car.
The car didn't have any decorations inside. The dealer had given Papa Jiao a pendant that was said to have been blessed by monks. However, he had removed it. He didn't trust these things.
After the kids came home, the inside of the car was completely different. Mama Jiao stitched a safety pendant to hand in the car and the kids decorated the car with stuffed toys.
Zheng Tan was relatively satisfied with the smell, so he got out after rolling around on the back seat.
He looked forward to the holiday trip because of the car. No matter where they went, it would be a new experience.
They left on the last day of September because Papa Jiao thought traffic would be heavy on the first day of the holiday. They had prepared for the trip, so they weren't rushed when they left. The family had dinner, then hit the road around seven.
They were headed to Papa Jiao and Mama Jiao's hometown in Yi Yang. The town was two hours away by car. The grandparents had been notified already. Grandpa Jiao went to the county yesterday to clean the house. The preferred to live in the country normally. They knew everyone in their village and never lacked playmates for Mahjong. They did, however, go into town from time to time to visit relatives.
They arrived in Yi Yang around nine. Grandpa and Grandma Jiao were waiting for them outside the house.
Grandpa Jiao was ready to greet his grandchildren when a black cat jumped out of the car.
"Why did you bring the cat?!"
He stared at Zheng Tan, who stared back.