Strange Life of a Cat - lightnovelgate.com
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Jiao Wei's dad was a childhood friend and his family was close with Papa Jiao's family. Otherwise, his father wouldn't have called him.
He had his own reasons for helping them too. He was going abroad next year and having Jiao Wei's family around could be beneficial.
Jiao Yuan would start middle school at Mama Jiao's school before he left. The school was not far from the university but construction was being done all around campus. Papa Jiao didn't want them to have to ride their bikes back for lunch. The family would have dinner together, while everyone would have lunch separately. Jiao Yuan's middle school let students choose whether to attend after-school self-study sessions in seventh and eighth grade. The parents in the quarters all decided that their kids would come home after school.
Papa Jiao and Youzi would have lunch in the cafeteria. It wouldn't be the first time. Papa Jiao had a folding bed in his office on which Youzi could take her nap. As for Zheng Tan, cafeteria lunch would have to be the way to go.
After a few days of investigating, Papa Jiao managed to find a shop. The store wasn't a restaurant originally, but the owner was selling off the store. As soon as he hung up the for sale sign, Papa Jiao showed up at the door.
Jiao Wei and his father then went to see the place. It wasn't very close to the school gate, but every business in that area was doing so well that it was impossible to find an available spot.
The father and son were relatively satisfied with the place, so they drafted up a contract right after the two parties set on a price. Papa Jiao had found a young law professor in the quarters to help out with the contract. Qu Xiangyang had heard a friend of the Jiaos' were opening a restaurant and came to show his support. He asked if the restaurant would be doing delivery.
The owner looked at the professor, assistant professor, and wordy young man in front of him and felt his face twitch. He had thought the person buying his store was just a country cook, who knew so many professionals would show up.
With these academics at their aid, Jiao Wei and his father put their hearts back in their stomachs. They had been worried they would be tricked and that the shop would use up most of their savings, and they couldn't afford for anything to go wrong. They offered to buy everyone lunch but the young professor and Qu both refused politely. They said they would come after the restaurant opened.
Qu Xiangyang even volunteered to draw up a blueprint for the renovations of the restaurant. The Jiaos were very appreciative but Qu had waved his hand nonchalantly and said, "If the food here is good, I'll be relying on you guys to live."
God knew what his parents would think if they heard him say that.
The restaurant was in need of supplies, especially tables and chairs. Before they could buy any, Wei Ling had learned of the problem and called Ye Hao, who arranged for a truckload of furniture his nightclub didn't use anymore to be sent to the restaurant. The stuff wasn't really fitting for a small family restaurant but it was usable with some small alterations. They wouldn't be able to get such good quality stuff at their budget anywhere.
Neither Ye Hao nor Wei Ling wanted money for the things, but Jiao Wei and his father insisted on stuffing 1000 yuan into Wei Ling's hand. Eventually, Wei Ling took two hundred yuan bills from the stack and left the rest on a table.
Wei Ling had helped mostly because he didn't want to trouble the Jiao by staying for dinner when he came over. Eating outside by himself, however, was lonely and boring. Now that he knew the Jiaos' friends had opened a place, he would have somewhere to eat and someone to talk to while he ate. He would also bring food to the company when his buddies were working late. His friends from the army weren't used to fancy food. The things Jiao Wei's father made probably suited their tastes better.
After Jiao Wei's mother arrived, they refused to let their son help anymore. All that was left was overseeing the renovation. The got everything they needed. Even if they didn't, everything was readily available in the supermarkets and stores nearby.
The couple told Jiao Wei to familiarize himself with the campus. Papa Jiao wanted Jiao Yuan to show him around but Jiao Wei refused. It was too hot outside for a kid to be running around. He had a map of campus and didn't risk getting lost.
Papa Jiao thought about it then called out to Zheng Tan who was eating grapes in Youzi's room. "Charcoal, help show Jiao Wei around campus will you?"
"..." Jiao Wei was speechless.
Many families had cats back in his village. Country folk used cats strictly to catch mice. They didn't keep cats as pets. He had heard that well-to-do families in the city raised cats and dogs as pets and thought of it as a pure waste of money. He never understood those people.
After he got here, he saw that the Mingsheng uncle his parents mentioned with so much respect had a cat that the family spoiled. He didn't say anything, but deep down he held much disdain for pets. Not only Mingsheng uncle's family, Qu Xiangyang who helped then with renovations and Wei Ling who helped them get furniture all treated the cat really well. He always thought they acted that way because it was Mingsheng uncle's cat, but something wasn't right.
Would people really treat a cat differently because its owner was a professor?
Professors were men of greatness in his village, but here people talked about these academics like the villagers talked about university graduates. Sure people admired them, but they didn't look up to them like they were unapproachable beings.
Jiao Wei remembered what his high school teacher had said to him before he left for uni. In a city like Chuhua, university grads were nothing. Even masters or PhDs were becoming more and more common. Those who couldn't adjust to the brutality of this urban jungle would be worth less than a cat.
Before Jiao Wei's thoughts roamed any further, Zheng Tan strolled out. He looked at the boy staring into space with a campus map in his hand and jumped up to pat his head.
Jiao Wei was brought back to reality. He thought Mingsheng uncle had slapped him on the head, but saw a black figure dash by.
It was a black cat. Professor Jiao Mingsheng was in Jiao Yuan's room and Youzi was still in hers. It was obvious who had patted him on the head.
Papa Jiao came out of Jiao Yuan's room and said, "Our cat loves going outside. He knows the campus fairly well. If you can't find a building, just ask him. He understands human language, but probably not our dialect."
Jiao Wei didn't really believe Papa Jiao but agreed out of politeness.
After the boy and cat left, Papa Jiao sat down and opened today's paper. Young people are more receptive and can accept things that are out of the norm with more ease. Since they were going to be around for the near future, it was best for Jiao Wei to get to know the cat, so that the shock didn't become too overwhelming.
Jiao Wei followed the cat downstairs then realized they didn't have a security access card. He was about to go upstairs and ask for it when the black cat jumped up against the sensor and the door opened.
Jiao Wei was speechless.
Zheng Tan headed outside ignoring Jiao Wei's surprise.
It was three in the afternoon and the sun was blazing. They tried to stay in the tree shade. Huge parasol trees protected pedestrians from the sun, letting only spots of light through their thick leaves. The wind shook the branches and the light spots on the ground swayed.
Jiao Yuan looked at the road in front leading to somewhere he didn't know and took a deep breath. Just this road alone was God knows how much longer than the roads in his high school.
How far would he go? He had to see.
Zheng Tan had no time for whatever the person behind him was thinking. He was busy figuring out which road to take to avoid the sunlight. He had heard that black absorbed heat!
The cat led the way and boy followed. They walked with no apparent destination.
Zheng Tan followed the trees and when the shade ran out, he realized they had reached the dorms.
There were several different dorms on campus. The undergrads and grads lived in different areas. The construction near the patch of woods on the edge of campus was a new dorm for freshmen. It was set to be put into use in September.
Right now, they were at the graduate student dormitory. Zheng Tan twitched his ears when he heard a familiar voice. He jumped onto a large parasol trees and headed to the source of the sound.
When he reached the third floor, he had found the source of the voice. It was coming from the dorm in the corner on the third floor. The windows were thrown open since it was summer. Thankfully, the dorm was facing the right direction so they didn't get any sunlight.
Except for the foreign student dormitory, none of the dorms had air conditioning. Apparently, the Ph.D. dorms were getting installments this year, but the masters' students and undergrads still had to wait.
What was worse, electricity was limited. Electronics that required large wattages were banned in dorms, so students couldn't use heaters in winter nor portable air conditioners in summer. After years of tireless petitioning from students, the school had decided to lift the limit on electricity for graduate dorms over the next couple of years. The undergrads would once again have to wait.
Chuhua got outrageously hot in summer and fans did almost nothing to alleviate the heat.
Graduate student dormitories were unlike undergrad dorms that had four people, six people, and eight people rooms. All the rooms housed four and had private washrooms. Each room had four bed and table sets where the bed was above the table. At the moment, inside the dorm on which Zheng Tan was spying the four students had moved the dresser and cleared out space in the middle of the room for four inflatable pools. All four of them were in the pools.
In the middle was a small chair and the boys were playing Ludo.
Inside the largest inflatable pool was Su Qu. He had a towel on his head, a piece of watermelon in one hand and dice in the other.
"Ha! My last plane arrived at the destination! Give me the watermelon, all of it! Whoever loses has to go get more." He squeaked a rubber duck and laughed like an idiot.
Zheng Tan wished he didn't know him.
How f*cking embarrassing!