Cui Zuojing met July when he went downstairs to take out the garbage.
Because Dong Zheng lived in a high-end community with good greenery, it had a nice breeze despite the hot midsummer night. Every building was separate, and there were a lot of kids playing around in the playground. There were a lot of people, both old and young, out to enjoy the breeze. Cui Zuojing walked downstairs wearing slippers and house pants. After separating the garbage, he threw it onto the trash can in front of the building. As he turned to leave, he suddenly heard a hiss.
The sound was very weak, masked by the sounds coming from the people afar. If it weren’t for Cui Zuojing’s good hearing, he would not have noticed it. He followed the direction of the sound, trying to find the source.
Eventually, he pushed aside the bushes, turned on the flashlight on his phone, and saw something hidden in the shadows under the bushes.
It was a palm-sized kitten, and it was lying on its stomach on the ground with its neck shrank back. Amber eyes stared at him vigilantly. The dark pupils were dilated due to fear and tension, and both ears were pressed back against it’s scalp. It opened its mouth at Cui Zuojing and hissed in a threatening manner.
The cat opened its mouth, wanting to call out, but it couldn’t make a single meowing sound and could only hiss from deep in its throat. When he heard this, Cui Zuojing knew that it was thirsty. In many cases, the biggest problem faced by the wandering animals in the city wasn’t food, but the shortage of water.
“Do you want to follow me home?”
Cui Zuojing tentatively stretched out a finger, and the kitten drew back in fear, and continued to “ha” him, sounding terribly fierce. Cui Zuojing clicked his tongue, grabbed the fur on the back of its neck with two fingers, and lifted it easily.
“I’ll take you upstairs to drink some water first.”
The kitten wanted to struggle, but it only managed to move twice before losing its strength. Cui Zhujing carried it into the hall and entered the elevator. This little kitten probably weighed nearly two catties, and Cui Zuojing guessed that it must be about two to three months old. This seemed about right. The stray cats went into estrus in spring from January to February. They only stayed pregnant for two months, and now it was July.
He pushed open the closed door and went straight to the restroom. Dong Zheng, who was working with a laptop in the living room, caught a glimpse of the gray thing in Cui Zuojing’s hand. He straightened and asked, “What do you have there?”
“A cat. I picked it up downstairs.” Cui Zuojing placed the kitten on the bathroom floor and called out, “Get a teacup saucer, pour cold water in it, and bring it over here!”
Dong Zheng put down the laptop, poured the water, and brought the teacup saucer over. The kitten was lying on the tile, tremblingly. He placed the teacup saucer in front of it, and Cui Zuojing dipped his finger in to wet it before touching the kitten’s small nose.
The kitten immediately leaned forward and stretched out its little pink tongue to drink water. It drank very eagerly. After a while, the tray reached the bottom, and so Dong Zheng brought the cup and added some more.
The kitten drank half a glass before stopping. Cui Zuojing to check whether there was anything he could use to feed the kitten. He turned over two steamed buns in the kitchen, grabbed a small piece and soaked it in the water. The kitten smelled it, and then turned on bulldozer mode and gobbled it up.
“Do you want me to buy some cat food?” Dong Zheng said. “There’s a pet shop on my route to work, and it’s only five minutes away from here.”
“Yes, buy some food for the kitten, as well as a bag of cat litter.” Cui Zuojing stretched out his finger and poked the cat’s behind. The kitten patronized him and continued to eat, only tossing it’s little tail. He raised the kitten’s tail and took a look. It was a little female cat.
Dong Zheng put on his shoes and took the car key to the pet shop. Living with Cui Zuojing, Dong Zheng had never gotten angry, always followed through with his words, and never complained.
Cui Zuojing only soaked a little, fearing that the little kitten would be full to bursting. After eating all of the food, the kitten obviously still wanted more. She looked up at Cui Zuojing, opened her mouth but still couldn’t make meow, and crawled to Cui with trembling steps. She leaned on Cui Zuojing’s slipper, no longer afraid.
“Now I’m alright?” Cui Zuojing gently rubbed her head, running his fingers through a layer of gray fur. He inspected the kitten’s body. The pads of her paws were bulging and soft, even the nails were still soft. Her ears were a little dirty, and apart from this, there seemed to be no other problems.
Dong Zheng soon came back, carrying a bag of ten catties of cat litter in one hand and cat food in a plastic bag in the other. “I didn’t know what kind of kitten food was better, so I bought a few more.”
“Okay. She can eat these for the time being. There’s no need to pay too much attention to it.” Cui Zuojing found an unused basin and poured the cat litter in. He placed it in the corner of the bathroom floor and put the kitten inside. Once the kitten smelled it, she squatted down. After a few drops of urine came out, she pawed the litter and buried it.
“Is it normal for her to be able to do this at such a young age?” Dong Zheng was a little surprised.
“Normally, cats can use cat litter by instinct soon after they’re born.” Cui Zuojing looked at the cat food one by one, tore open a pack of liquid kitten food, and squeezed it onto the tray.
Together, they squatted in the bathroom to watch the kitten. Cui Zuojing’s excitement was written directly on his face. Ever since Victor chose to stay in the Pure White Realm to accompany Wang Que, he had always wanted to raise another cat.
“Since you’ve eaten my food and drank my water, you’re my cat now.”
The kitten was finally full of food and water. She didn’t have to struggle to stand up like she did at the beginning. When she went to explore the living room, Dong Zheng expressed concern that she would get on the sofa because she was so dirty.
Cui Zuojing also agreed that she was dirty, so he thought about it, and said, “Let’s give her a bath.”
“Can she be bathed at such a small size?”
“Even if she is, she’s too dirty. After washing her, it’ll be fine if we just wipe her down and use the hair dryer to blow her dry. Rural cats have very strong vitality.” After saying this, Cui Zuojing turned on the shower, checked the water temperature, and bathed the cat with Dong Zheng.
The first rinse was full of dark water. In the second rinse, the water was lighter, but it wasn’t until the third rinse that the water became clear.
The gray from her fur was now cleaned away, and the pads of her paws were pink and tender. Her limbs and the lower half of her face was a very pure white, but her cheeks, her back down to her tail, and everything else was an alternating orange and white. She was a very beautiful little orange cat.
Most cats were afraid of water and didn’t like to take baths. This kitten was no different. However, she was too small to escape from Cui Zuojing’s claws and so she was washed clean without difficulties. Dong Zheng found an unused hand towel and used it to dry the kitten and wiped the water from her small paws. Cui Zuojing grabbed the hair dryer, plugged it in, and dried her hair.
The little orange kitten still had her baby fur, which was very soft, and so it dried almost without much effort. Cui Zuojing turned off the hair dryer and cleaned the kitten’s ears with a cotton swab. When everything was done, he placed her on the ground again.
The kitten turned around twice and tried to climb up the sofa. Cui Zuojing looked at it and sighed with a smile, “The sofa at home is going to suffer in the future.”
Previously, Victor wasn’t really a real cat, and so he never turned anything into a scratching board. But now, this was different.
Cui Zuojing wanted to sigh when he thought of cat fur flying all over the house, the sofa being caught in a mess, shoveling shit every day, and the life of a cat slave waking up early in the morning. Cui Zuojing really wanted to sigh. Such sweet trouble.
The little orange kitten finally climbed onto the sofa and jumped onto Dong Zheng’s lap, scattering a few light-colored cat hairs on Dong Zheng’s black pants. Just like Cui Zuojing had said, rural cats were extremely tenacious. She couldn’t even walk when Cui Zuojing first picked her up. Now that she had eaten something and drank some water, she started to scurry about.
Since Cui Zuojing obviously wanted to raise the kitten, Dong Zheng wouldn’t hinder him. He scratched the cat’s chin with two fingers, and the cat raised her head, opened her mouth with enjoyment, and silently called out. It was unknown how long she’d been thirsty and so it may take a while for her dried throat to slowly recover.
“Want to give her a name?
“Definitely. What should it be?” Cui Zuojing looked at the little kitten, who was standing on Dong Zheng’s lap while playing with her tail. “I don’t want a common name. My cat needs to be different from other people’s cats.”
When it came to names, they both fell into contemplation. When Cui Zuojing first registered as an UP host, it took forever for him to come up with a name. He rejected the names “March Rabbit’s Pocket Watch,” “Large Round Hazelnut,” “Minoyan,” and other names. In the end, he couldn’t think of a suitable name, so he directly ended up going with “Arabidopsis.” Now, a group of fans called him Brother Grass.
Dong Zheng said, “How about calling her July?”
Cui Zuojing’s eyes lit up. “Good name.”
July was when he saw the kitten, and it also had the characteristic of bravery and a fresh sense of beauty. Cui Zuojing poked the little female cat’s behind and said, “Your name will be July. Better go with the name your dad chose for you.”
Suddenly being called a cat’s father, Dong Zheng laughed. “If I’m a father, then what are you? Mommy?”
“Of course, I’m Daddy.” Cui Zuojing leaned in closer to look at July, kissed her little nose, and said, “Okay, since she’s all cleaned, tonight just follow me to sleep.”
There was an extra member in the house, and the changes were quite obvious. Cui Zuojing bought a cat litter box, pet shampoos, a cat scratcher, an automatic drinking fountain, and other supplies on the Internet. He and Dong Zheng installed a cat climbing frame, and the house was much more enriched all at once.
Cui Zuojing’s study for his driver’s license had already reached the third subject. It wasn’t difficult for him to drive, especially now that he had an automatic transmission car, it became even simpler. He was usually at home and only had to take the test. After finishing subject two , he directly added money before going to the mock examination room to practice for a whole day, and the exam went smoothly. After he got his driver’s license, he could try driving to Dong Zheng’s company.
The arrival of the new member made Cui Zuojing no longer alone every time he played games. July would lie on his lap or squat next to him to accompany him. When he was tired, he would play with the cat with a cat stick. The kitten at this age was at its cutest, and all gestures were adorable. Cui Zuojing had no resistance to it. He took countless photos and videos and sent them to Dong Zheng at work.
Every time Dong Zheng got off work, he hadn’t even arrived home yet when July would hear his footsteps and wait in the doorway for him. When Dong Zheng came in, she would brush her face and body against his legs, then laid on the ground and rolled. Dong Zheng would squat down to pat her, and then he would see Cui Zuojing coming out to greet him. No matter the annoyance he felt at work, they would all disappear in a flash.
On the fifth day of having a home, July finally managed to make a little sound. Cui Zuojing was relieved. Being really thirsty had made her voice hoarse.
In the evening, he would go out with Dong Zheng or they would just rest at home. July would sleep on their bed, leaning against Cui Zuojing, and sometimes secretly moved to their pillows. Cui Zuojing would often wake up in a daze in the middle of the night and wanted to lean against Dong Zheng, only to have his face full of fluff.
The only trouble was that every time Cui Zuojing and Dong Zheng carried out activities that young people often do, July would be kicked outside the bedroom. Even if she wanted to go in, Dong Zheng and Cui Zuojing would ignore her completely, and the ignored July would usually end up having to sleep on the sofa.
Even with a new cat, Cui Zuojing still missed Victor. He was his uncle, his comrade-in-arms, and his former cat.
He knew that Victor would definitely live well in the Pure White Realm.
But from now on, July would accompany him on behalf of Uncle.