Hellping

“…Ah.”

 

Once Amane finished the latte, a cat hopped onto his lap.

 

It was the American Shorthair that was at the table next to them.

He had a look at its profile, and the word was ‘Kakao♀’.

 

One had to wonder if she was bold or naive as she innocently hopped onto his lap, which disturbed him.

Amane understood very well how carefree cats could be, but he was a little restless to have one suddenly approach him.

 

The warmth on his lap was heavier than he thought. She curled up, as thought declaring his lap as her dominion.

 

“This one ain’t shy.”

 

Amane let Kakao sniff his hand, and saw Mahiru looking envious.

 

Once Kakao was done sniffing, she rubbed her face on his palm. He had a feeling she was asking to be patted or hugged, and like how he practiced on Mahiru, he tickled Kakao’s chin.

Kakao was making a gulping sound with its throat, which was apparent from the way she shook and purred.

 

He felt fuzzy and healed after seeing such cuteness, and continued to pet the cat. He was however concerned by Mahiru’s envious look beside him, and smiled.

 

“Mahiru, hand over here.”

“Eh? Y-yes.”

 

Once she reached her hand out, Amane moved his hand from Kakao, and put Mahiru’s hand near Kakao’s cheek.

This cat probably was not shy in the slightest, and found humans approachable. She probably would let others pet it if they greeted her properly.

 

Kakao had a sniff of Mahiru’s hand, let out a relaxed purr, and rubbed her face onto Mahiru’s palm. Mahiru seemed very moved, and her eyes were sparkling.

 

“Amane-kun, it let me touch.”

 

Amane smiled at the exhilarated Mahiru, and patted the kitten, combing its fur.

 

It had fluffy, smooth fur, probably because it was better cared for, and did not have an annoying stench. It had a little of its distinct scent. The shop attendants really care for it, Amane thought.

Every cat appeared to have good fur and health. None of them were too plump or skinny. They were well cared of, and could freely walk anywhere.

 

“…So cute.”

“Yes…I am envious of you, Amane-kun…”

“Try asking Kakao. Get it to hop onto your lap.”

 

Despite a difference in languages, sign language was unexpectedly effective.

Mahiru tried slapping her legs “Over here~” Kakao purred, and slowly walked towards Mahiru’s lap.

 

Amane looked delighted when he saw how moved Mahiru looked.

 

“Amane-kun, look. She is on my lap now.”

“That’s good. Try patting her.”

 

It appeared Kakao was more fond of Mahiru’s soft thighs than Amane’s sturdy ones, for she made a shriller purr, and rubbed her face on Mahiru’s palm.

Mahiru beamed as she patted away, and with a wry smile, Amane took out his cellphone to record this sight.

 

“Can I take photos now?”

“…You may.”

 

Mahiru continued patting Kakao. Amane smiled at Mahiru, and stood up.

 

There were a few magazines and manga on the wall shelf, so Amane wanted to take a few.

This was a cat-themed cafe, but it did not mean he had to keep playing with the cats; the objective was to relax in a place with cats. This little relaxation was also a form of enjoyment.

 

While Mahiru remained mesmerized by Kakao, Amane chose a few books from the shelf, only to notice Silk, who first greeted Mahiru, being at his feet.

 

Amane knelt down, brought his index finger to the cat’s nose, and as expected, Silk sniffed at him as a greeting.

Silk’s gesture too was very cute, and Amane unwittingly relaxed as he looked at it. Once it finished sniffing, its front paw leaned towards Amane’s arm, as though leaping over.

 

Meow~it made a shriller voice than Kakao as it leaned towards Amane. Amane sat on the floor, cross-legged.

 

Silk might appear regal, but it appeared to be rather fond of people. Once Amane got permission to touch, he petted it, and it looked delighted.

It continued to purr and lean over, and that probably was the signal indicating that it wanted to be patted more. Using his fingers, Amane gently caressed Silk-sama, fulfilling its desire.

 

Itsuki had a cat at his place, so Amane had some knowledge on how to deal with them.

He knew how to improve a cat’s mood, how to make it fawn; Amane kept changing his actions accordingly.

 

So cute.

 

Amane’s lips curled into a smile as he felt its throat throbbing.

Silk was initially aloof, and Amane never expected it to fawn so much after he was allowed to touch.

 

I was wondering who it resembled, but Mahiru?

 

Mahiru too was initially aloof, and had an unapproachable vibe. Once she opened up however, she would give him a look of trust, and sometimes careless when she fawned over him.

Amane always felt she had some traits of a cat, but actually, she really resembled one, no?

 

He quietly dubbed Silk Angel number 2, and patted it in ways to make it comfortable. Then, he suddenly heard a camera shutter.

 

He lifted his head, and found Mahiru close to him, with smartphone in hand.

 

“I was wondering why you are so slow…when did you become so close with Silk-chan?”

“I don’t know how, but it just let me touch it.”

“How sleazy…I too want…”

“Where’s Kakao?”

“Cats really are capricious creatures…”

 

It appeared Kakao ran somewhere else.

Amane looked around the cafe, and found Kakao curled on the second level of the cat rack. Just a moment ago, she let Mahiru pet it, and perhaps she lost interest.

 

“Do you like Silk-chan, Amane-kun?”

“No, I can’t say since I haven’t touched it completely…but well, I think it’s really similar to you in a few ways, so I had the urge to pat it.”

“Similar?”

“Yes. You’re standoffish at first, but once we got closer, you want to fawn around.”

 

Amane however felt that while Mahiru’s carelessness and urge to fawn were similar to a cat, the desire to gain full trust and seek attention was like a dog. He could not deny that she had a combination of both cat and dog traits.

Mahiru herself had instinctively relied on Amane, and fawned on him, which made him happy and yet embarrassed.

 

“…I am not a cat. And I do not simply approach anyone.”

“Yeah. You’re more wary after all.”

“…Are you thinking that I am a cat?”

“No no no.”

 

Amane patted the cat as he usually did to Mahiru, “Right?” he asked Silk.

 

Silk purred, either out of coincidence or keen observation, and because of this, Mahiru could not ask any further.

 

Nevertheless, Mahiru looked displeased towards Amane, and Amane used his left hand, which never touched the cat, to pat Mahiru.

 

“…You are thinking of me as a cat.”

“Alright alright. Come on, play with Silk, Mahiru. I think you can borrow toys from the receptionist.”

“Pl-please do not try to pull a fast one.”

“You don’t want to play with it?”

 

Amane fooled around with Silk as he asked Mahiru, “How sleazy, Amane-kun.” Mahiru muttered, and went to borrow toys.

Amane had intended for Mahiru to play with the cat while he borrowed, and widened his eyes when he saw Mahiru like that. Then, he saw that slightly pouty look on her face, and was utterly confused.

 

“What does she mean, sleazy?”

 

Is it about me playing with Silk?  He muttered, wondering why Mahiru showed such a face. How would I know, Silk purred, and rubbed its forehead onto Amane’s palm.

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