Strange Life of a Cat - lightnovelgate.com
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It was painful having to tuck his ears in to drink.
It was much better being human, Zhang Tan thought while he drank. His tail waved from side to side.
Long Qi watched curiously. This was the first time he saw a cat drink.
He had heard a buddy tell a story about trying to feed his cat alcohol. The cat was absolutely defiant and wouldn't open its mouth. So he spread a bit of liquor on the cat's fur. The cat would lick its fur then stick out its tongue and roll around. Then it would lick its fur again.
Eventually the cat completely passed out. His buddy got a good scolding at the vet's office. Apparently, most cats were allergic to alcohol. Drinking it could be lethal, so it wasn't very funny to make a cat do such a thing.
However, Long Qi looked towards Wei Ling. The latter was immersed in the stories of Fang San Ye performing on the streets and was having a splendid time, despite the fact that the Fang family might have him targeted later. He would glance over in this direction once in a while, but did not seem to want to intervene when the cat started drinking.
Wei Ling wasn't worried, but that didn't mean Long Qi wasn't worried. If something happened, the blame would lay with him. He didn't think this cat was a regular cat, else Wei Ling wouldn't have brought it here. So although Wei Ling didn't intervene, Long Qi decided to keep an eye on it.
What a pain!
Would this cat get stomach problems from the alcohol?
Would it throw up?
Did he need to have a vet on call just in case?
Long Qi was deep in thought when the cat tapped the glass again. He looked up and saw the black cat staring at him. The glass was empty.
Long Qi hesitated.
The taste of wine brought back memories. Zheng Tan praised the quality of the stuff he just drank, but this person here wasn't pouring him more. That was not ok.
He tapped the glass again, this time harder and more rapidly. It was clear he was hurrying Long Qi.
Long Qi stared at the cat. He didn't think this cat would be this different. An alcoholic cat? That was unlikely. So was this craving for alcohol just an on the whim sort of thing?
Zheng Tan shoved his glass towards Long Qi. If he pushed it anymore, it would have fallen off.
Long Qi sighed inside. He pushed the glass away from the edge of the table and poured out just a little bit more than he did last time.
Putting down the bottle, Long Qi watched the cat in front of him thinking this was probably the limit for a small thing like this.
Zheng Tan didn't bother trying to figure out what Long Qi was thinking. Seeing that there was wine in his glass again, he stuck his head in to drink. Afterwards, he stared at Long Qi until the man gave him a refill.
After finishing his cup of wine for the third time, Zheng Tan felt full and needed to pee. He jumped off the coffee table and ran towards the washroom.
The room had a private bathroom. Zheng Tan stood in front of the door, then jumped up and clawed at the handle. He remembered to close the door behind him after he entered the bathroom.
Long Qi was amazed. Wei Ling looked this way so he said, "Brother Ling, this cat..."
"Don't worry about it. It knows what to do," Wei Ling said, totally unfazed.
Long Qi was speechless. How was this cat trained? This was borderline sorcery!
Long Qi went to check the bathroom after Zheng Tan came out. The toilet was flushed with no trace of cat pee around it. The water tap and toilet paper had traces of use and there was a ball of paper in the trash bin with black fur on it. Remembering the cat's wet front paw, Long Qi told himself he was overthinking it. It wasn't possible for a cat to wash its paws then wipe them on toilet paper.
Long Qi didn't know that Zheng Tan had planned to use the hand dryer but it was too inconvenient for him, so he had to use toilet paper to dry his paws. The room had carpets so the wet paw prints weren't as noticeable.
Long Qi was still frowning in puzzlement as he came out of the washroom.
A Jin had had a bit too much to drink already. Wei Ling had gotten all he wanted out of the young man.
Wei Ling shut the wall with the window and the room was now quiet again. He looked towards A Jin who was just staring into space and handed him a mic.
"Want to sing something?"
A Jin was not thinking clearly, but singing had became a natural instinct for him. He took the microphone that was handed to him and immediately started singing when the music began. He sang everything Wei Ling picked. If he didn't know a song he would say so and ask for it to be skipped.
Wei Ling wanted to help A Jin. He had heard plenty of interesting gossip from the young man and even if it was just for Charcoal's sake he would want to help him. The boy was so young and Wei Ling wanted to bring him out of despair. He was making the boy sing just to see how good he was.
He didn't know much about music, but he had been here too many times. After hearing so many songs, he could sort of tell between good and bad. A Jin was good but not enough. After some training, he could start out in the north district of this club. What he would turn into after that would depend solely on how he, or rather, his band did.
In the Night Tower, which stage you got to perform on depended solely on your abilities.
In a club, a singer had to know how to work the atmosphere. He had to be smart to know when to sing what. He had to know how to socialize and had to be quick on his feet. Wei Ling knew from talking from the boy that though he was not quite up to the task yet, he would be fine after some practice.
Anyhow, the boy wouldn't be going on stage just yet. The performance schedule was already set at the moment and Wei Ling didn't want to interfere with it. He would talk to Ye Hao and see what his men could do.
Just as A Jin was getting his groove on and Wei Ling was thinking about A Jin's future, Zheng Tan stole the other mic from Wei Ling and started shrieking.
Zheng Tan felt he hadn't had much to drink, but he was too small. A little bit of alcohol was enough to make him dizzy. He felt fine earlier but the wine was starting to hit him. He was walking in wobbly curves now.
Hearing A Jin sing, Zheng Tan suddenly wanted to sing himself.
Drunk, Zheng Tan staggered. He saw the back of the van with all the cat cages. Then he saw himself in the dusty attic hiding from the cat-traffickers. He saw a black cat jump into a cold pond to avoid looking like a stray, fighting a pussy cat for its pet tag and getting chased and beaten while waiting for a car.
Then the scenes changed again. Zheng Tan felt he was back on the bus with the driver honking like mad. The tires scraped the ground making screeching noises. Drivers around were yelling words with an accent he didn't understand. All the cars on the road flowed like blood and everything around him seemed daunting.
Every day Zheng Tan felt he was trying to communicate with a type of sign language unknown to anyone.
So he wanted to sing. Just sing.
When he saw the other mic Wei Ling was holding, he grabbed it and held on.
It was ten at night. Inside the Jiao family, both Mama and Papa Jiao were awake. This was the first time the cat was leaving the campus after it returned. Even though they knew Wei Ling was with Charcoal, they were still worried. A phone call would be nice.
At the moment, the bedroom phone rang.
Papa Jiao, who was closer to the phone, picked it up immediately.
The signature howls came from the other end of the phone, making the Jiaos unable to say anything for a moment.
When it was quiet again, Papa Jiao asked, "What's going on over there?"
"Charcoal is drunk. I'm in the washroom, it's quieter." Wei Ling answered.
"You gave him alcohol!" Mama Jiao shrieked.
Mama Jiao was going to grab the phone when Papa Jiao stopped her and asked patiently what was going on.
Wei Ling explained the situation then went outside again. He told Long Qi to turn off the sound system and shoved the phone next to the "singing" cat.
Hearing the howls without background music made Papa Jiao sure it was his cat. From the sound of it, the cat was quite well and energetic. It was just louder and unstoppable.
"Charcoal?" Mama Jiao took the phone and called out.
Zheng Tan was in the middle of a song when he realized the music was gone and it was quieter. He then heard his name and lowered his voice.
"Is Charcoal not coming home?" It was Youzi.
"Mom, where is Charcoal and what is he doing?" That was Jiao Yuan.
Both kids were still awake. The snuck over to their parent's door when they heard the phone ring. After they made sure it was a call about the cat, they knocked and went inside.
Zheng Tan faintly heard their voices through the telephone.
"Go to bed, sweethearts. Charcoal is singing karaoke." Papa Jiao replied.
Zheng Tan tilted his head and tried his best to think.
That was right. He was not a stray cat anymore. He had a home to go back to when he was tired. It had a small yard and old buildings and crowded rooms.
He felt better.
Wei Ling and Long Qi saw that the cat stopped yelling for a moment. Before they could become relieved, it started again, louder this time. That voice that could master two octaves yet missed every note made them want to kill themselves. They envied A Jin who was passed out. At least he didn't have to endure this torture.
Even without music or a working mic, how was this cat still so loud!
Both men decided at that moment that they would never give this cat alcohol again. This was their own doing!
Wei Ling wanted to leave the room but was worried Charcoal would get into more trouble. He had promised the Jiaos to look after their cat.
Long Qi wanted to take the mic from the cat thinking it might stop if it didn't have it. Before he could touch the microphone, he was scratched. The nails missed his hand but left two deep marks on his sleeve. He had just bought this suit the day before yesterday. He wanted to leave but was stopped by Wei Ling who reminded him they were friends through thick and thin. F*ck that!
Ye Hao decided to return at that very moment. The sight and sound of a screeching cat greeted him and he paused, in shock, at the door. The soundproofing was excellent and he hadn't heard a thing in the hallway. He certainly wasn't prepared for what welcomed him.