Chapter 6: The Four Cheap Guests of the Eastern District and Mr. Perfect Parrot
In one of the houses below comrade Xiao Qu lived a rather unique inhabitant. The special point of his inhabitant was that it was the home owner’s pet—— a rare species, hyacinthinus macaw.
This bird’s name was “General”, and he was supposedly the Mr. Perfect of parrots. This guy’s value was enough to buy a hundred square meter apartment in the city center of Chu Hua, and its price is still rising.
High intelligent, adept in many languages, good looks, and in addition to being a rare species, it would be strange if this damn bird’s price wasn’t high.
Their home’s balcony was different from all the other balconies. The balcony on the fourth floor was covered by a coarse wire mesh, whose main purpose was to prevent the parrot from flying away. Truthfully, they weren’t afraid that it would fly away, but rather that it would go and harass people and animals. From appearances, this bird knew its boundaries, but it in fact had a belly full of evil tricks.
“General” had a nickname, “cat’s worst nightmare” . This damned thing really liked to bully cats, and it especially loved biting a cat’s ears. He had heard that quite a few cats had their ears bitten at the school before. This was something Mama Jiao had said when he first arrived here. It seems this was the reason why Papa Jiao had repeatedly urged him to be aware of his surroundings, to protect against fire, theft and parrots. Looking at this guy’s body, and thinking about a macaw’s strength, and you’ll know that it had a very high ability to cause damage.
However, after getting familiar with it, Zheng Tan knew that although it bullies cats, it picks its targets. The cats on the eastern residence had it better. As long as they didn’t provoke it, it wouldn’t take the initiative to attack. But, if it saw cats from the western residence, well then that’s unfortunate.
Perhaps it was because of the owner’s influence. This bird particularly liked to sing nostalgic old songs, some that Zheng Tan had only heard of in a docûmentary about nostalgic albums There were some that he had no impressions of, but the tune revealed its age. Like the song he had just heard, it could be traced back to the eighties. These were still good.
And what made Zheng Tan feel peculiar was that this bird possessed skills. If the average parrot’s intelligence approached that of a four or five year old, then the one from the apartment below would probably be better than an adult, and a genius type at that.
Now why did he say this?
The bird from the lower apartment was still singing in a low voice. Zheng Tan just couldn’t stand it anymore, and helplessly lifted his head up to watch the night sky. He heaved a sigh, then gave the balcony a sweep and found a metal mosquito coil incense. He nudged it to the side of the railings, then stuck out a paw and lightly tapped.
“Ding dong, dong dong, dong ding dong ding…” [so damn loud!]
The singing from the lower apartment abruptly stopped, and in the next moment, Zheng Tan heard the rustling sound of flapping and the banging sounds of toes striking wire. Evidently that bird had never thought that it would actually hear this noise at this time of night, so it was very excited, and ran to the mesh wire.
Not long after, a pecking sound came from the lower apartment, from the sounds of it, that bird seemed to be pecking some sort of food packaging box.
“Da di, di di, di da da da, di di da…” [You’re actually here!]
Who would ever guess that in the middle of the night, at Chu Hua University eastern residences building B fifth floor there would be a cat and a parrot conversing through morse code.
Actually, Zheng Tan wasn’t too familiar with morse code. He had only learnt it recently. The one who was truly proficient with it was actually that most unremarkable and useless-looking Dragon Li cat, Chubs.
Every time Chubs went to the military district to visit his relative, or the times when that person from the military district came over to pay old aunty a visit, he would always be tested on the use of secret codes, converse using morse code, play simple rail fence cipher paper card games etc. If the results from Chubs’ tests were not ideal, ho ho, then go obediently squat on instant noodles.
This parrot was a loyal hobbyist for secret code puzzles. Whenever Chubs was at home, it would peck the paper cards and find Chubs to play the rail fence cipher game, and when Chubs couldn’t be found, it would then find Zheng Tan or its feeder to play the the morse communications game. Only, its feeder was usually rather busy and didn’t have much time to cause a ruckus together, so there were still many times where Zheng Tan underwent suffering. Last week, “General” was brought out to play at one of the protected nature reserves in the outer province. As a result, Zheng Tan was very relaxed for several days.
Now discovering that this guy had actually made its return, Zheng Tan’s mood at once plummeted.
[I heard Yellowy got neutered? Today I saw him actually wearing an Elizabethan collar] “General” was still in the midst of excitement for finding a partner to chat with in the middle of the night. It didn’t even feel a bit of sympathy for Yellowy.
[I haven’t seen him in a good few days] Zheng Tan continued to smack the mosquito coil incense.
Sigh, this is the fate of you pet cats, how pitiful, in the future you four musketeers of the Eastern district will turn into the four eunuchs of the Eastern district.
Not every pet cat needs to undergo that procedure.
Don’t deceive yourself.
Scram, too lazy to care about you.
Don’t go, let’s keep chatting, aren’t you cats nocturnal animals?
Like that’s got anything to do with you. I’m going to sleep, oh yeah, can’t you sing some trendier songs?
Half a minute later,a low warbling once again came from the floor below.
“You are like that~ – fire! Burning hot flame~ giving me warmth.~~”
Zheng Tan. “…” Really want to squish it to death!
Ignoring the parrot that had too much energy, Zheng Tan once again returned to the chair in the living room. He covered his ears with his paws, closed his eyes, and slept.
Early morning next day, Xiao Qu was awakened by a loud and clear wail by Zheng Tan. He struggled out of bed, in his Spongebob SquarePants pajamas, and opened the door to let Zheng Tan out.
Actually Zheng Tan could open the door himself, but this wasn’t his home after all. He needed to be bit more conservative, and besides he wanted to bring Xiao Qu some trouble, not let him be well rested.
When Xiao Qu was letting out a big yawn and straining his eyes open, he discovered the Jiao family’s door was open. After hearing the sounds from this side, the people that were just eating breakfast in the Jiao family home, gathered around the entrance.
Rubbing his eyes, Xiao Qu smiled and said, “Morning!”
Zheng Tan ran straight for the dining table, and found that Mama Jiao had already entered the kitchen to bring out Zheng Tan’s breakfast.
Outside the door, Xiao Qu brought out the rat from last night with his tongs. Papa Jiao looked at it, and evaluated, “A little too much strength was used, but all in all still good.”
Zheng Tan twitched his ears, pretended not to have heard, and continued eating his breakfast.
Mama Jiao had also placed a bowl of vegetable congee, having Xiao Qu join them for breakfast. Since knowing Xiao Qu’s habit, it wasn’t possible for him to buy breakfast at this time or cook it himself. At the table, Xiao Qu told the story about catching the rat while he drank his congee. The Jiao family became excited, especially Mama Jiao, who would tell this story to anyone she ran into.
In the afternoon, Yellowy was brought over by his owner, and he was no longer wearing the Elizabethan collar.
After several days of not seeing him, he felt that Yellowy had mellowed out, and appeared dispirited. Since Zheng Tan had known him, he had never seen Yellowy show this type of appearance.
On the side, Mama Jiao was chatting with Yellowy’s owner.
“Sister Ling, did Yellowy become like this because he hasn’t recovered from his surgery?” Mama Jiao was a little concerned.
“It shouldn’t be. I’ve seen other family’s cat undergo the same surgery, and by the second day are vigorous and lively. However after the surgery, he has indeed changed a lot. He’s no longer peeing everywhere like before.”
Zheng Tan ran into Jiao Yuan’s room, and pulled out a large glass marble.
Yellowy twitched his ears and looked over when he heard the sound of the glass marble rolling.
Good, a response. Zheng Tan had even previously thought that the blow from the surgery was too big and he had become stupid. Turning his paw, he rolled the marble towards where Yellowy was lying down.
Yellowy listlessly reached out a paw to grab the marble while lying down.
Five minutes later.
Zheng Tan watched the Yellowy in the living room playing with the marble in high spirits, and sighed. This bástãrd didn’t suffer any blow, he was just bored being stuck at home!
Afterwards under Mama Jiao’s suggestion, Yellowy was allowed to go outside for a stroll.
After walking out, Yellowy returned to his old high spirited self. Once they left the building, he began to excitedly run and meow.
On the fifth floor, the two women standing on the balcony were very puzzled. Wasn’t it said that cats who had the surgery wouldn’t call out like that anymore?
According to his understanding of Yellowy, Zheng Tan knew that this guy was just venting his sorrows for having to wear the Elizabethan collar and being confined at home for days, and at the same time call out to the other guys, that’s all.
When they ran around the corner, they ran into old aunty Di from the third floor. Zheng Tan and the other cats all recognized her.
“Yellowy?” Old aunty Di called out.
Hearing his name, the Yellowy that had its tail in the air, and was meowing with all its might suddenly stopped. Then he squinted his eyes, and affectionately responded, “Meow~”
Zheng Tan. “…”
The feeling was like that of seeing an aunty who strode around cursing at the streets suddenly become a prim and proper lady.
Trotting along the familiar woods, he arrived at the little forest next to the residences. Chubs and Detective who were called over by Yellowy were already there.
Chubs still had the appearance of not being fully awake with his eyelids half drooping. As for Detective, he was chewing something, probably some type of insect.
Four cats walked into the forest. Zheng Tan twitched his ears, it was likely there were others in the forest.
They raised their heads to look just in time to see a streak of blue on the tree in front of them.
It was “General”. The yellow crescent on his beak always made Zheng Tan feel as if he was smiling evilly.
After Yellowy raised his head and saw “General”, he opened his mouth, “Meow——”
“General” who was atop the tree heard the sound and took a glance at the four cats with his yellow circled eyes, then lifted the claw that did not wear the GPS tracking leg band, and brought the claw to its beak. ”Shhhh—”
Zheng Tan: “…”
What is this damned thing peeping at now?