Author's note: I wish people who read this short novel get a chance to think about what it means to be happy.
3.I was out on the streets. Just because I was the leader of the sky did not mean I had to spend all of my time in it.
I could see various kinds of people on the streets. Sometimes they wondered about in groups, letting themselves loose in their drunken state. Otherwise I spotted people who were by themselves, lingering, and they all had opaque, fish-like eyes that seemed to stare into the distance, although I wasn’t sure exactly where to. I wondered why they all had eyes like that; it surely wouldn’t bring much luck.
During my city outings, I often ran into other cats. Being such a famous chap I was in the city, I was regularly followed and admired by charlatans who wanted to join the sky. I met two today, and they were just like the rest, making such sycophantic fools out of themselves before me. Nonetheless, I restrained myself from treating them too harshly, because the reason they were acting as they were was that they had dreams of joining the sky, and they were willing to even humiliate themselves. I never let down those with dreams. That was my life motto.
I was about to return to the alley after having enjoyed the taste of the city when I met a girl (spotted a girl, to be exact). She was a strange girl. She seemed to be about nine-years-old in human age, which was remarkably young. Yet oddly enough, I could not see the naïve joy or an innocent smile that were usually present in kids of her age. Even if her lips were forming a smile, her eyes were not. They were dark with worry that adults carried. What could have made her so? And in midst of my pondering, I noticed that her sad eyes were looking at me. She walked up to me, crouched and patted my head. Frankly, I could never understand what charm humans found in patting cats. Humans did not know that despite their harmless intentions, cats suffered from grave hair losses due to frequent patting. For example, Kusha the viceroy had practically no hair left on his head because his lovely snow-white fur attracted hands that were so fond. I gently meowed and looked up into her sad eyes. I felt a strange sense of melancholia coming over me and wanted to escape, but did not because I did not want to make the girl disappear. After patting my head for a while, she rose, as if she remembered something to do that she had forgotten, and with a “bye-bye, kitty,” bid farewell and ran into the distance.
And that’s how we met.