For a full minute, Xiaohui chewed the pillow, looking around in shock, unable to come back to his senses.
He meowed tentatively and moved his front paws. The furry paws were gone and turned into human arms. A little confused, Xiaohui tried to crouch on the bed habitually, but found it difficult with his two human legs, especially since his tail was still in place, making it very uncomfortable to press it down while squatting.
Xiaohui waved his tail and jumped off the bed like before, but failed to get his balance right and fell to the floor.
Xiaohui yelled angrily; it hurt too much to fall like that. He was about to vent his anger on Fang Lei, but soon realised that Fang Lei had left him alone in the house and had gone out on his own. Xiaohui waved his hand angrily and held onto the edge of the bed, struggling to stand up on his two legs. He didn’t feel it when he was a cat, but now that he didn’t have the soft fur on him, the floor was a little cold.
Xiaohui learnt to stand on the floor like Fang Lei; his two legs were long and strong enough to support his body weight. The only trouble was that he wasn’t quite used to standing or even walking on two legs. Xiaohui cocked his head and wagged his tail, struggling to keep his balance, and took a few tentative steps walking along the edge of the bed.
Xiaohui’s voice was dripping with the delight of discovering something new. The world he could see as a human was not the same as from a cat’s perspective. He glanced around curiously. Everything around him was both strange and familiar. He took a few more steps, tilted his head and stopped in front of the dressing mirror.
Was that him there? Xiaohui was a little confused. Why had he turned into a human? This was something that Xiaohui had never thought about at all. Most of what he thought about in his daily life were things related to food, territory, and Fang Lei. When he couldn’t eat the dried fish, he was in a bad mood and scratched Fang Lei. When a wild cat encroached his territory, he was in a bad mood and scratched Fang Lei. When Fang Lei left his cat at home and went to work, he was in a bad mood and scratched Fang Lei. When he lost a fight with Dahei, he was in a bad mood and scratched Fang Lei. What should he do now? Find Fang Lei and keep scratching him?
Xiaohui blinked, tilted his head, thought for a while and decided to follow his instinct to find Fang Lei. He jumped onto the bed and subconsciously went to the window that Fang Lei never closed in spring, summer, autumn or winter, leaving a gap for Xiaohui to enter and exit. But soon Xiaohui realised that he was now in a human body and could no longer climb out of the window.
Xiaohui waved his tail in dissatisfaction, feeling that turning into a human was not good at all. He jumped off the bed again and waved his tail to keep his balance as he walked to the door of the living room. Wait a minute! Xiaohui saw Fang Lei’s police uniform hanging at the entrance and looked down at his naked body again. He remembered that Fang Lei didn’t grow hair on his body and had to wear this thing called clothes whenever he went out. Xiaohui thought about it, reached out and twisted his hand to pull the shirt down. He looked at the trousers for a long time and pushed his legs into them like Fang Lei did every morning when he got dressed.
Xiaohui stumbled and almost fell over. He pulled the trousers up, but they got stuck at the tail. Xiaohui twisted his head and tucked his tail into the trousers. Fang Lei’s trousers were a bit too big for him, so with his tail tucked in it couldn’t be seen from outside. Xiaohui twisted his body and felt uncomfortable, and habitually got angry with Fang Lei. After putting on the trousers, Xiaohui put on the police jacket and walked barefoot to the door.
The place where Fang Lei lived was a single apartment belonging to the police station, so it was a good thing that there was no one around at noon and no one noticed Xiaohui’s abnormality even after he had walked all the way outside the apartment. He stood by the road and sniffed, catching Fang Lei’s scent.
“Taking a taxi?” A taxi pulled up to the side of the road and the driver asked, poking his head out enthusiastically.
Xiaohui looked over blankly and the driver froze and laughed as he took in Xiaohui’s appearance, “Where did you get your cat ears, young man? They look like real ones. The clothes aren’t yours either, are they? You stole it from your parents? That’s no good, you can’t wear a police uniform indiscriminately, you’ll be punished.”
While the driver was talking, Xiaohui had already come up, pulled open the door and sat inside. He used to ride in Fang Lei’s car a lot and was very familiar with it.
“Yo, get in, where are you going?”
One man and one cat stared wide-eyed at each other, and then Xiaohui patted the steering wheel and pointed towards the front.
The driver responded, “Is that to go ahead?”
The driver’s face immediately showed sympathy. The poor guy looked like a handsome young man but couldn’t talk and could only learn how to meow like a cat. His gaze fell on Xiaohui’s bare feet and he shook his head, “Young man, you don’t even wear a pair of shoes when you go out. It’s not cold in May, but it’s not comfortable to step on the ground with bare feet.”
Xiaohui followed the driver’s line of sight and looked at his own foot, with a small green blade of grass between his white toes, picked when he had just stepped on it at the side of the road. His mood instantly brightened and he smiled slightly at the driver.
Relying on Xiaohui’s directions all the way, the driver managed to deliver Xiaohui to a steakhouse not far from Fang Lei’s work. Xiaohui was about to push open the door without waiting for the car to stop, when the driver hastily pulled him back. “Wait, young man.” Although Xiaohui would only meow, the driver had already imagined countless pictures of Xiaohui being abandoned by his family. He had no idea what Xiaohui was doing here, and considering that the police station was not far ahead, the driver was more than eager to get Xiaohui there.
Xiaohui had already seen Fang Lei through the car window and he turned angrily and slapped the steering wheel, signalling the driver to let go of him.
The driver guessed, “Is there your family down there?”
The driver pulled over and Xiaohui angrily jumped out of the car. The driver felt worried, thought for a while and chased after him. On the other side of the road, the sign of Youmeng Steakhouse was huge, and behind the glossy floor-to-ceiling glass window, Fang Lei was sitting, talking to a long-haired girl in a floral dress.
Xiaohui rushed to the glass window and meowed angrily at Fang Lei inside.
Fang Lei felt something and subconsciously turned his head to meet Xiaohui’s eyes. He recognised the clothes on Xiaohui almost immediately, and then thought of something and said in astonishment, “Xiaohui?”
The girl opposite Fang Lei followed Fang Lei’s line of sight and smiled faintly, “Kids these days are quite funny, look at the cat ears, they look like they’re real.”
Cat ears… Fang Lei couldn’t sit still, couldn’t care less what to say, so he just stood up and hurriedly ran out. As soon as he ran out of the steakhouse, the driver happened to catch up with Xiaohui and stopped him to ask what was going on. Fang Lei was anxious and thought the driver was going to do something, so he rushed up and pushed the driver away, holding Xiaohui in his arms.
Xiaohui scratched Fang Lei angrily, the cat ears on his head cocked up in fury.
Fang Lei was sure that the young man in his arms was Xiaohui, and a million questions flashed through his mind. How did Xiaohui turn into a human? When did he become human? How did he find his way here?… Before Fang Lei could find answers to these questions, the driver he had pushed away yelled, “You are this young man’s family? Is this how you take care of him? He can’t speak and you dare to leave him outside alone, without even wearing shoes?”
Hearing this, Fang Lei realised he had made a mistake. He nodded at the driver somewhat apologetically, “Sorry for the misunderstanding just now.” Noticing that Xiaohui had no shoes on his feet, Fang Lei straddled and picked him up. Xiaohui was still angry and nonchalantly reached out to scratch Fang Lei again.
Fang Lei was helpless; he couldn’t spare his hands to touch Xiaohui’s ears now, so he could only whisper and coax, “Xiaohui, don’t make a fuss, behave.”
Fang Lei nodded, “It’s my fault, I shouldn’t have left Xiaohui alone at home, let’s go back now, okay?”
“Good, let’s go back and fry the little yellowtails.”
The two of them kept talking to each other, and the driver looked at them and took pity on Fang Lei. It seemed that this young man really thought he was a cat, and by the look of his family member, he was playing along with him, treating him like a cat. He kindly said, “Should we take the young man to the hospital?”
Fang Lei froze and smiled, “Thank you, Xiaohui is not ill.” As he said it, he walked to the car with Xiaohui in his arms and put Xiaohui on the passenger side, then pulled a hundred yuan out of his wallet and turned to hand it to the driver, “You sent Xiaohui here, didn’t you? I’m really sorry for your trouble.”
The driver didn’t want to accept the money, but Fang Lei insisted on giving it to him, so he had to take it. When he was ready to find the change, Fang Lei had already gotten into the car, nodded to the driver and drove away.
“Eh, looking for your change.”
The driver’s voice was blown away by the wind. Fang Lei held the steering wheel with one hand, stroked Xiaohui’s ears with the other and smiled, “Not angry anymore?”
Xiaohui twisted his body, feeling very uncomfortable with the pressure on his tail under his buttocks.
“What’s wrong?” Fang Lei asked.
Xiaohui scratched his trousers, simply half-kneeled on the passenger seat and took them off. He had only Fang Lei’s police jacket over his body, his long bare legs were exposed, and his snow-white butt with his grey tail waving at Fang Lei was revealed.
Fang Lei slammed on the brakes and stopped on the side of the road, almost having an accident. He instinctively took off his t-shirt and wrapped it around Xiaohui’s waist. Xiaohui waved his tail in discontent and meowed at Fang Lei.
Fang Lei was helpless and said softly, “I know the tail is uncomfortable. Let’s go home, you’ll take it off there, okay? Bear with it a little longer, just a little longer.”
Fang Lei immediately promised, “Okay, from today onwards I’ll never leave you behind again.”
As Xiaohui was in this state now, Fang Lei really didn’t feel comfortable leaving him alone either.
Xiaohui reluctantly accepted the presence of the t-shirt, and Fang Lei breathed a sigh of relief as he restarted the car. It was not too far from here to the apartment, and Fang Lei always felt as if he had forgotten something. But it didn’t matter what he had forgotten, the problem was how to take Xiaohui back to the apartment when he arrived. If his colleagues saw him, how could he face them in the future?
Fang Lei’s problem didn’t bother him for long. He looked at the door of the apartment building in front of him, and suddenly a faint green light flashed. As soon as Fang Lei turned his head, his police uniform fell to his seat. Under the police uniform, Xiaohui’s furry head was revealed.
Fang Lei: “……”
Perhaps because maintaining his human form had consumed a lot of energy, Xiaohui fell asleep soon after turning back into a cat. Fang Lei parked the car, opened the door and carefully carried out Xiaohui. Xiaohui was curled up in a ball in his arms, with a small green blade of grass stuck in his toes.
Fang Lei touched Xiaohui’s nose in amusement and carried him back to his apartment. Just as he entered the door, the old lady’s phone call came, “What’s wrong with you, Leizi? Halfway through the meal, you disappeared. You didn’t even say goodbye to the girl, what’s the matter with leaving her alone in the restaurant? Also, the girl said, you left with a young man, where is the young man?”
“……” Fang Lei just knew he had forgotten something. He was a bit apologetic, “Mom, it was a bit of an accident, I didn’t mean to. Something happened to a friend’s brother and I was in a hurry to get back to deal with it and forgot.”
“A friend’s brother?”
Fang Lei glanced at Xiaohui in his arms, “A friend’s brother, no different from my own brother.”
When the old lady heard there was an accident, she was reasonable, “Then you should call the girl and explain. Even the money for the meal was paid by the girl herself.”
Fang Lei nodded helplessly and promised to find an opportunity to invite the girl to dinner again.
After soothing the old lady, Fang Lei watched Xiaohui sleeping soundly. There was nothing to do for a while, so he simply took off his clothes and hugged Xiaohui to catch up on his sleep. The cat and the man slept until the afternoon, when a faint green glow flashed and Xiaohui reverted to his human form. He moved habitually, lying on Fang Lei’s body like before, his limbs stretched out, his face buried in Fang Lei’s neck, purring and continuing to sleep comfortably.
In his sleep, Fang Lei felt pressed down by something and subconsciously reached out to touch it. The touch felt strangely smooth. Fang Lei was taken aback and then his palm had touched a fluffy tail, with a warm, soft and supple convex under it.
He opened his eyes suddenly and grey cat ears brushed against his face. The human Xiaohui lay on top of him naked with his eyes closed.
After his consciousness cleared, Fang Lei found that he was shamefully hard.