Strange Life Of A Cat - Chapter 54
Eastern staff residence quarter of Chuhua University.
Papa Jiao stood at the front door of his own home, he lifted his hands and rubbed his face. Disguising the weariness on his face, he then pulled the keys out and opened the house door.
The couch in the living room was still empty, there was no longer a black cat that stretched across, lying there watching the television, happy and content.
Hearing the sound of opening door, the two children's doors flung open at almost the same time, but when they saw Papa Jiao's facial expressions, their eyes dimmed down again.
It had been a week, but there was still no news.
The criminal dens for illegal cat and dog trading that got banned in Chuhua city didn't have the news that they were looking for.
The two children's door closed again, they went to finish their homework.
After knowing that their cat had gone missing, the two children's eyes became bloated from crying. Even after a week, their eyes were still red and their mood always low.
"Still no news?" Mama Jiao asked in a hushed tone, she was not in a good emotional state as well.
Papa Jiao shook his head and didn't say a word. After a while, he responded: "Wei Ling and Director He are all helping to find him, Mr. Zhao and others also asked their friends to look out for news in this area, it will come soon."
After finishing his sentence, the bedroom phone rang.
Papa Jiao stood up to pick up the phone, while the two children in their rooms pressed their ears to the door, hoping to hear some good news.
However, Papa Jiao didn't say too much when he answered the phone, the only two sentences were in a quiet voice and didn't seem to be in a good mood.
Hanging up, Papa Jiao took a cigarette out and smoked on the balcony.
Normally Papa Jiao didn't smoke unless he was in a bad state.
The person that just called was Wei Ling, he reported the investigations result to Papa Jiao, no sign of his Charcoal, but they found the person that sold the tranquilizer. They traced this thread further, but the purchaser was not a local and was quite sneaky, they couldn't find out much.
Although it didn't have too much useful news, Papa Jiao always had a suspect at heart, he recalled the recent encounter with Professor Ren in the faculty. Professor Ren recently looked somewhat pleased…..
While the people of Chuhua city occupied themselves with trying to find any news of Zheng Tan, Zheng Tan now lay on the attic of a villa sleeping.
That day he followed the great Pyrenees and that girl to a nearby district. The district was high-ended, it had elevators and villas, the house of the great Pyrenees was one of the villas.
The speed of that girl riding wasn't really fast, it looked more like taking a spin, often stopping and getting off the bike to buy things. That's why Zheng Tan could follow hiddenly, but it was quite tiring because of his weariness. He was in an extremely poor state on that day.
The girl and the great Pyrenees entered from the front gate of the district, but Zheng Tan crawled through from a nearby fence. He made his way towards a villa following the footsteps of a dog and a person, and had found quite a good location ---the attic.
It was not difficult for a cat to crawl up this type of Americanized villa attic.
The attic of this house had some knick-knacks piled in there, there were normally not many people that came here. Many places were covered with cobwebs and dust, initially there were some rats, but after Zheng Tan arrived, they probably rolled up their belongings and left since Zheng Tan had never seen them.
After all these trouble of finding a temporary place to stay, Zheng Tan's tensed nerves began to ease up. He rampaged through the stuff in the attic and found a cushion inside one of the cardboard boxes. Regardless of the moldy smell on cushion, Zheng Tan lay on it and began to rest.
Zheng Tan was awoken by the sound of splattering rain.
The rain hit on the window of the attic, making a clattering sound which resonated clearly in this serene environment.
Outside, the sky darkened, another day has passed.
From here, Zheng Tan could see the lamp posts of this district, the light bouncing from nearby residences and the shadows of people moving about through the window of the attic.
It's probably supper time. Zheng Tan sniffed his nose and could only smell the moldy scent that the attic had.
Zheng Tan knew where this area was, and knew how far Chuhua city was from here.
One being the central city, the other being a southern coastal city.
It was because of this knowledge that made his mind blank.
Xiahe city was not too far from the Southern City, a city where he had lived for twenty years.
Zheng Tan looked at the raindrops on the window, not sure what he himself was thinking, to be accurate, he was in a trance.
However, the trance didn't last for too long.
Ah, his stomach was starving.
Zheng Tan figured that some time later when the family were all asleep, he could go down there and look for some food.
Zheng Tan didn't want to expose himself. This household kept a dog so they probably don't eat dog meat, but who knows if they would eat cat meat? And what about the family's moral character?
He didn't want to take risks.
Zheng Tan took a stretch and flexed out his limbs, pondering about what he should do in the future.
If he had been a human it would be much better, but unfortunately he was now just a cat.
Doing nothing was boring, Zheng Tan fumbled through the stuff in the attic and found a small ball, the children's toy type. It looked like it had been there unmoved for a long time.
Lying on his back on the cushion, Zheng Tan played with the ball with his four paws. His front paw gently pushed the ball back then his legs pushing it back again.
Looking at the moving ball in the air, Zheng Tan felt that he resembled those animals in circuses.
Speaking of which, how was the Jiao family during his absence, and what about Mr. Guo's advertisements …
Just like that, Zheng Tan played with the ball while immersed in his thoughts.
The laughter of the family travelled to the attic, as well as the sound of ads on the television and a familiar dialect that he hadn't heard for a long time.
It was finally midnight, the rain outside might have stopped.
A window on the slant side of the attic could be pushed open, the family probably didn't know that there was a broken window in their attic. Nevertheless, even if they knew they probably wouldn't take it to heart since this window was extremely small, it would be difficult for a seven or eight years old child to climb through, let alone a thief.
Walking out through that window, Zheng Tan surveyed his surrounding. Due to the recent raining, the environment was damp and moist.
Zheng Tan took a look at the water stain on his paws and found a place to climb down from the roof, arriving at where the kitchen was.
Initially Zheng Tan saw a door opening on the door that allowed pets access, and was prepared to enter from there, but after a try, he realized that it was locked. Most likely because that great Pyrenees had grown too big, it could still be used when it was younger, but now there was no need, that's why the family locked the pet door.
Unable to get through from the door, Zheng Tan could only climb through the window. Luckily, there was a window on the top that was left unclosed, Zheng Tan climbed through that window. Before he climbed through, he intentionally wiped the water stain of his feet off on the door mat at the back door, it's better not to leave cat paw prints in the kitchen when he's there.
There was a large refrigerator in the kitchen, Zheng Tan opened it up to take a look. There weren't much groceries in there, judging by the family condition of this household, even if they didn't finish their dinner they would throw it away. Fortunately, there were some pre-made meat balls from the supermarket, Zheng Tan ate a few, half cooked, guess he had to make the best of it.
The rest were all children's snacks, some biscuits and pastries etc. Zheng Tan ate some of each, and took some snacks that had individual packaging that he would take to the attic.
After eating something, Zheng Tan felt much better, although they were cold it was better than suffering the hunger.
Zheng Tan gently closed the kitchen door, holding some snacks to his chest and quietly left. He had become more proficient in walking on two legs.
It was a little troublesome when he had to climb out the window, two legs were that useful, so Zheng Tan had to take the snacks out one pack at a time between his teeth.
Before leaving the kitchen, Zheng Tan looked at the gap under the closed kitchen door, through the crevices he could see some white dog fur -- on the other side of the door lay the great Pyrenees. Zheng Tan believed that it had discovered him but didn't speak out.
What a great dog.
The type of dog that grimaces at the dog thieves and would cover for him. Quite smart.
After foraging, Zheng Tan took the few packs of snacks to the attic and crouched on that cushion that gave off moldy smells. He would have never thought that he would sneakily eat at night like the rats.
Such a state he was reduced to…
He had a good sleep at night. Zheng Tan didn't know if it was the effects of the drug that made him sleepy lately. Sometimes when he was deep in sleep, he wouldn't hear anything even if someone was having se* next to him.
The next day, Zheng Tan heard some news.
To Zheng Tan, that news was not bad.
First, he heard that there was a death on that street that sold cat and dog meat.
The deceased person was Uncle Gan, a famous person to the entire street. The cause of death was the outbreak of rabies.
It was very strange how an experienced figure like him didn't have a vaccine, or, didn't have a vaccine in time. According to reason, he should be more knowledgeable than others on how to protect himself, but in the end he didn't escape this fate.
Zheng Tan heard the person around him discussing many possibilities, it could be the problem of the vaccine, maybe this expert became careless, maybe that he had already contracted it earlier on but didn't have the vaccine, or maybe that it was because he ate dog meat. Since the sanitary condition of the street wasn't too good, they always did shoddy work and used inferior material, they weren't able to completely kill off the rabies virus. All these were possible.
Anyhow everyone had a view on the matter, but the truth was that this notorious Uncle Gan died of rabies.
Other than this famous Uncle Gan, there was another person who had a bad luck, that person was the young man that had kidnapped Zheng Tan.
It was said that the young man went to look for Uncle Gun when he was morbid, which resulted in him being struck with a beer bottle across his head by the unfit Uncle Gan. He was now lying inside a hospital.
Hearing that news, Zheng Tan felt an easiness in his heart. Although he didn't know this Uncle Gan, but judging by the discussions from people around him, there were countless dog lives that were lost by this old man's hand and he had taught a bunch of dog-stealing, cat-kidnapping people, he even hunted illegally, it was a deserving death.
Furthermore, due to the matter of Uncle Gan, everyone on the street was worrying about their own life. Even those whose restaurant didn't kill dogs all went to the hospital and had the vaccine, after all any animal could carry rabies bacteria.
As to that young man, Zheng Tan thought: even if you come out of the hospital alive, don't let me see you again, otherwise I will kill you with a painful death.
Zheng Tan will remember this vengeance forever.
Other than that news, Zheng Tan also overheard that this family was going on a road trip this weekend. By then there would be no one in the house, making it convenient for Zheng Tan to act.
Zheng Tan wanted to pass a message to Papa Jiao using this family's phone, despite being unable to express what he wanted, at least he would let them know that he was still alive.
Zheng Tan had it all planned out, call the Jiaos to notify them, then Papa Jiao would contact this family and come and get him in the end. Since the family returns on Sunday night, he didn't need to wait for too long, it was better than him being homeless.
Two days later, on a Friday afternoon, just as he anticipated the family packed their stuff and waited until the kids return home from school, then they drove away with their family members and the dog.
Zheng Tan couldn't wait any longer, climbing into the window immediately after they left and started looking for the phone.
There was a landline next to the sofa in the living room, Zheng Tan jumped up. His arm bent as he fished the receiver up , then he lifted his cat paw and dialed the numbers one by one. Zheng Tan could remember the number of the Jiao's, the three numbers were stuck on the walls in both Jiao Yuan and Youzi's room, the landline at home, Papa Jiao's and Mama Jiao's. That's why Zheng Tan could remember the numbers off by heart, but up until now, Zheng Tan only called once to Papa Jiao when Mama Jiao was ill.
Zheng Tan became stressed as he entered the numbers, but when he finish pressing the numbers, that never-changing voice in the receiver continue to repeat with the same tone "The number you dialed does not exist", Zheng Tan was dumbstruck.
Redial, same result.
Did the Jiao family's landline change number?
Zheng Tan dialed Papa Jiao's phone number again, didn't go through, tried Mama Jiao's, didn't go through either.
Does this landline have a problem?!
Can't dial interstate?
That's not right, he heard the owner of the house calling someone overseas yesterday, how could it lock interstate calls?!
Zheng Tan was unwilling to give up, he tried again but it was the same result.
It made Zheng Tan so angry that he wanted to throw the phone.
He regretted not memorizing other people's numbers from Chuhua city, Zheng Tan squatted on the sofa, lifting his paws and scratched his head. If he had known he would have remembered more numbers, and tried them all out.
Wei Ling's, Yixin's dorm's, Zhao Le's, Zhuo's, Tiger's, Fatty's, Lan's, Qu Xiangyang's… Zheng Tan didn't know any of those people's numbers.
Last time Wei Ling even told him his new mobile number, unfortunately Zheng Tan forgot it as soon as he heard it.
He regretted not doing so!!
The sound of ripping fabric sounds, Zheng Tan retraced himself and looked at the sofa beneath him. He has accidentally torn this fabric sofa.
Hopefully the family wouldn't link this to a cat.
Zheng Tan tugged his ears, jumped off the sofa and looked for something in the kitchen to fill his stomach, he even drank a bottle of milk which he found.
In spite of being full, there was still a chill in Zheng Tan's heart.
The night fell, a giant villa all silent.
Zheng Tan didn't like this desolate silence, his tail swung with great force beating the floor with each swing.
The nearby residence's vehicle drove by, change in light sources, the shadow cast by the window frame moved along the living room wall.
That family even pressed their horns twice when they arrived home, he could slightly hear their laughter outside of the house.
Zheng Tan sat up in agitation and climbed out the window. Under the disguise of the night, Zheng Tan could also prevent himself from being caught.
Uncle Gan's incident made the people on this street much more well behaved, besides it's outside the perimeter of that street and there was no one out here catching cats.
Zheng Tan wandered aimlessly, coming to the border of the district and crawled through the gap in the fence.
He didn't walk for too far, when he was walking past a fast-food restaurant, Zheng Tan's attention was attracted by the two people's conversation over there.
"All right, I need to go and deal with something, wait till I return from the Southern City then I will visit you again." The guy in the vest said to the other person.
"Be careful when you're driving at night, call me when you get to the Southern City."
The guy in the vest waved and said farewell to that person, then flung his keys and headed to the parking lot. He entered an ute.
The Southern City?
Zheng Tan hurried over and jumped into the cargo of the ute.
Other than the suitcases and a few bags that the man in the vest threw in, there was nothing else in the cargo, it was still spacious.
Zheng Tan raised his body, leaned against the cargo box of the ute and looked out, then he found a place that could block the window to rest his eyes.
Just as he was about to fall asleep, Zheng Tan suddenly recalled something, judging by the time, if that self who was still studying at the Southern City did exist, he would be around the same age as Jiao Yuan that rascal?!