Cat's Hour ~猫の時間~
“Oh, my! Hikari-chan, what happened with that wound? Wait here, I’ll get the first aid kit.”
I stared intently in a straight line that formed on my arm. It started to bleed and I can feel a stinging pain from it that made me cry as a child. I just got scratched by the new cat that we took in our home.
“Hikari-chan, you shouldn’t force cats no matter what.” Mom said to me as she was tending to my wound.
“I know… but it was so cute. I can’t stop myself.” I said in between my sobs.
You can call it a childish recklessness. The new cat that Mom took home was a pretty one, its eyes are different colors with green on the left and blue on the right. Of course, I haven’t seen other cats as pretty as it so I really want to befriend it, but I got scratched instead.
I can’t understand why the cat hates me. Mom was always in good terms with every cats and I learned to take care of them too, but this particular cat really hates me. I didn’t do anything wrong!
“It was a good thing that the wound is not that deep or it will leave a nasty scar.”
“Uuu… Mom, the cat really hates me!” I complained to her.
She gave me a pat to the head and gently smiled at me.
“You see, cats are very sensitive and specific. If they like something, they like it. If they hate it, they hate it. They are also very sensitive to the movements around them so it was not a good idea to force them.”
“Then… I’ll be hated forever?”
Just thinking about it kind of pained me. If I’m really hated, then I really am hated. It was like that with cats, right?
“That’s not really the end. In that case, you just have to get to know them. When you understand their behavior, you will know what they like and dislike. When that happens, you can get them to like you.”
“How would I know that? It’s not like cats could talk.”
“What if they could?”
At that time, Mom confidently grinned at me. It was as if she was certain that there are cats that could talk. But… there’s no way, right?
It was still pretty early when I arrived in school. I decided to head to the principal’s office because I didn’t have the chance to speak to them yesterday. The teacher that I talked to yesterday also said that I need to give a greeting to the principal today.
If it was just greeting, then I’ll be done here real quick!
I stood in front of the door with the sign saying, ‘Principal’s Office’ in neat, bold letters. Yosh! There’s no point mulling over it, let’s knock the door!
Before my hand touches the door, it suddenly opened revealing a white haired guy.
Uwaah! So pretty…
I stared at him, he was a tall man, his skin is fair and flawless, his white hair was parted in his bangs revealing his forehead, he also has well-defined facial features that I couldn’t help but gasp in admiration.
But compared to his perfect looks, his eyes sharply glared at me which sent shivers down my spine.
“What do you think you’re doing with that hand?” He asked with a smile but his eyebrows furrowed at me.
Oh crap, my hand still looks like aiming to knock at the door!
I swiftly retracted it and looks away from him. That was embarrassing!
“Tch.” He decided to ignore me and left, of course he grunted in irritation at me before leaving.
What’s the deal with that guy? If he could be a little nicer, girls would be flocking around him for sure. What a waste of his looks.
Shrugging that thought, I faced the entrance and peeked a little.
There was someone sitting in a swivel chair in the room. It was facing behind so I can’t see their face. But a swivel chair? It was as if I was talking to a corporate president!
“Oh, Hikari Terushima, right?” someone that I presume to be the principal responded.
Hold up, why do I feel like I heard that voice before. Where have I heard it… I somehow find it hard to remember.
In the middle of pondering, the chair turned to face me and my hunches were confirmed in that moment.
“I, Irosaki-sensei?” I reacted in surprise.
“Yes. I’m the principal of this school,” she smiled at me. “Well, I’m sorry for not telling you yesterday. I’m quite in a rush and you also seem like having fun playing with Yami.”
“A-ah… it’s fine. I was just surprised. Anyway, sensei introduced herself as Student Council adviser, is that also true?”
I let out an awkward chuckle. I never would have thought that Irosaki-sensei is the principal of the school. She also realized that I’m thinking about something improper yesterday. I should be more respectful to her last time!
She fixed her glasses in her face and it reflected when a ray of light touched it.
“Yes, that part is not a lie. The student council lacks manpower after all and I was an acting adviser for them until they can function as an independent school organization.”
That’s odd. Isn’t it to be expected that the Student Council have the second authority after the school heads? I don’t know, but this smells fishy to me.
“Even that guy you passed by here is member of Student Council.”
“Eh? He is?”
“Yes, that was Tsuki Mashiro, third year student and the vice president of student council.”
“So he’s my senpai? He looks scary though.”
I clearly stated my opinion of that guy without an afterthought. I’m the kind of person that says what comes to mind easily after all.
I was just hit by a sudden realization when Irosaki-sensei muffled a chuckle at me. I swiftly covered my mouth in embarrassment. I just insulted the student council vice president, right? Will I be punished?
Stupid Hikari! This is just the first day and you already messed up!
“Fufu, you’re such a straightforward girl, Terushima-san.”
“Err…” I just awkwardly grumbled to myself.
I don’t know how to respond to what she just said. Also, I don’t know if me being straightforward was a compliment or insult in her perspective. As long as I won’t be punished, I’m still safe.
“Then, we’ll leave it at that. I just want to formally welcome you to our school.”
She stood up and offered her hand to me.
“Welcome to Nekoji Academy. Please enjoy your time in this school. High school isn’t just about studying or taking sports. It was the springtime among the students. This also a time for youth and love, don’t you think so too?”
She gave me a wink as if she meant something on what she just said.
I took her hand at that time, little did I know, she was really serious about her remarks.
Classes swiftly passed by, nothing of particular notice happened the entire day. Well, except that my seatmate was a no-show and I have to borrow to the other closest person in my seat. It was a good thing that they are kind to a transferee such as myself.
Seriously, I was really thankful. Though, I can’t remember the name of the one who shared their textbook with me, it was my bad.
I was walking around the school grounds in hopes of searching for Yami to play again. I really need some time to play with cats today because I was drained by listening to lectures that just made me sleepy. The teacher’s voice are lulling you to sleep, especially on history class.
I spotted Yami on a bench in front of the school field. It was cute how he was seated on the bench as if waiting for someone. I suddenly feel the urge to pet him so I launched myself and snuggle myself to him.
Uwaah! So lovely!
“Uuuu, hear me out, Yami! You see… hmm?”
I stopped on my ranting when I noticed something tied to one of Yami’s legs. It seems to be a letter. But to use Yami as a messenger, I’ll applaud your effort whoever you are.
Let’s see here…
“To Hikari Terushima, there is an important matter we need to discuss with you. Follow Yami to the meeting place. We’ll be waiting before the Cat’s Hour starts.” I read the letter aloud.
It was mentioned again, that Cat’s Hour… hmm? Weird, why does it feel like I know this Cat’s Hour they are talking about? I’m sure this is the first time I know this.
Ah, no good. There are some missing parts of my memories yesterday.
“Nyan?” Yami purred as if trying to get my attention.
“Ahaha, it’s nothing. Ne, are we going to the place that the letter mentioned?”
Yami rubs himself to my feet as if urging me to follow him. Of course, after seeing such adorable gesture, there’s no way I could ignore him. I just followed him to wherever the place that the letter sender wants to meet up with me.
That brings me to my current situation right now.
“Hikari Terushima, from this day on, you will be assigned as the secretary of the student council. Whether you like it or not, there’s no way you can decline, do you understand?”
It was threat. Yes, I’m being threatened right now.
I was sitting on a floor of a traditional Japanese room along with five other guys who wears the school uniform.
More than that, I’m trying my best to not to stare at them intensely. I’m not dreaming this time, right?
I bit my lower lip to calm myself and to test if I can feel any pain. Ack, it was painful!
“Oi, are you listening?!” A loud voice yelled at me.
I peek a little to see if I’m not hallucinating. It was still there… why??
The one with the loud voice was the tallest in the group. He has tanned skin and his hair has an unusual color of black hair with lighter ends. Did he dye them? I’m a little curious too.
However, I have to take my eyes away from the top of his head where I can clearly see those.
“My, my, you’re scaring the little kitten, Tsukasa-senpai. You too, Tsuki-senpai.”
I gave a look to the one who spoke just now. Out of nowhere, he was already beside me and touching my chin.
“How about play with me, little kitten-senpai?”
His face is so close! Awawawawa!
I suddenly feel my blood rushing to my face when he touched me. I backed out a little but there’s a part of my mind that cease to function after that overheat.
This guy that got touchy-feely with me was a guy with long light orange-colored hair draping over his shoulder. He also have the looks matching that of a celebrity and a high sex appeal. If Mashiro-senpai was a cool beauty, this guy is your boy next door ikemen! Moreover, if he was this close, I’m going to be tempted to touch those! Uuuunnn!
“That’s enough, Asahi-kun. You’re bothering her,” a gentle voice said. “Please help yourself with these snacks, senpai,” a young boy said to me and put a tray with tea and snacks in the table.
What a pretty voice. It was like an angel’s. If I could hear this voice everyday, I’m sure my mood will definitely get better.
This kind boy is such a sweet child. He has gray hair that is neatly styled with few strands framing his youthful face. He has droopy eyes that made him really cute. Ah, he’s so adorable… I want to pet him.
Wait, Hikari! This is not the time for that! There was still the white haired demon smiling in front of you!
Mashiro-senpai was towering in front of me and looking down to my direction. He’s really pissed. I can even feel his glare even if I don’t meet his eyes. More than that, why can I see those things on top of their heads?!
“My, my, don’t corner our recruit.”
Irosaki-sensei made her entrance through the sliding door.
“Ah! It’s sensei!” The gray boy exclaimed.
“Kana-chan came? Ah, I couldn’t be more happy.” The orange playboy said as if he was ecstatic to see Irosaki-sensei.
“Toujo-kun, could you repeat that one more time?” Sensei asked with her eyebrows twitching in irritation.
“I said nothing.”
I just deadpanned to this situation. I don’t even understand why am I pressured by these people. Someone, please explain!
“Oh, sorry about that, Terushima-san. I suggested to them that they should try recruiting you to be a secretary but this vice president is not good with words so please excuse them.”
“A-ah… y-yeah… it’s fine, sensei–”
I came to a halt when I also saw something on top of Irosaki-sensei’s head. Eh? What’s going on?!
“Hmm? Is there something wrong, Terushima-san?”
“U-uhm…” I slowly pointed my head to give hints about the things that I see on top of their heads. “T-there are cat ears in your heads…?”
Everyone in the room fell silent. All of them stared at me for a while before exchanging glances among themselves.
They gathered in the corner of the room quickly and talk to each other while making sure that I won’t hear them. What’s going on? I was told to go here and I’m the one being left out? Geez!
Well, if I’ll just get ignored here, I shall take my leave stealthily so they won’t catch up to me. Right, I better get going!
I stood from my seat and silently took a step.
Out of nowhere, someone gripped my hand which made me stop. I didn’t even feel the presence of this person! Where did he came from?! I was caught off guard that I could even feel my heart almost popping out of my chest!
I pulled my hand out of reflex and turned around to see who it was.
I was greeted by a guy with messy black hair almost covering his eyes. He looks shocked about what I did when I met his eyes with dark circles under them as if he hasn’t rested for days. The two of us locked into a staring contest until he bursts in tears out of nowhere.
“Uuuu… I’m sorry!” He apologized in between his sobs as he prostrate himself in front of me. “I was really a useless person… there’s nothing I can do well. I should’ve quit already… such an irrelevant person like me.”
He continued grumbling to himself with depressing words and I also noticed his cat ears droop down in dejection.
“Awawawa! Why are you crying? I’m sorry if I didn’t hear your voice, it was too quiet!” I also panicked.
I slowly reached out my hand to give him a pat to his head. Seems like he calmed down a bit. That’s good. Hehe.
Crap! I did it! I reacted unconsciously and gave him a pat in the head! Whyyy?!! I actually see him as a cat for that moment and I can’t contain myself! I got carried away because of the cat ears!
While I was still screaming inside, I suddenly feel that the air got chilly which made me shiver.
I raised my hand in the air as if I was a criminal surrendering after committing a horrible act.
Mashiro-senpai is definitely going to kill me! He’s already throwing daggers behind me! Dearest father, your daughter lived a happy life already.
“Ne, can you really see… those cat ears?”
The black-haired guy tried to divert the attention into a new conversation. I’m really thankful now that Mashiro-senpai isn’t emitting his bloodlust anymore… or not. He’s still glaring at me!
“Y-yes! I can see them clearly… and not just cat ears, all of you also have tails.” I admitted with all the courage I have. This is the best I can do with a white demon planning to kill me afterwards.
“You have black cat ears… a kuroneko?” I pointed the guy in front of me.
After that I spun around and pointed the others one by one. “Mashiro-senpai is probably the shironeko. The gray haired boy is the gray cat. The tanned guy has tri-colored ears, probably the calico? The long-haired guy has orange cat ears, it could be a tabby?”
I also faced Irosaki-sensei but hers doesn’t seem like a cat one.
“About Irosaki-sensei’s… I can’t distinguish it.”
It has similar color with her auburn hair but something’s telling me that it’s not cat ears.
Irosaki-sensei fixed the glasses in her face and her lips curved into a smirk. It wasn’t intimidating but I can feel that it was a meaningful one.
“My, my, of course I’m not a cat. Don’t make a mistake, Terushima-san. I am what you called a kitsune.”
“W-wait! You’re not denying it?!!” I blurted out.
They could have at least denied it and call me crazy. That’s actually what I’m expecting to hear!
“There’s no point denying it if you can see it clearly.” The calico nonchalantly said.
“That saves us from long explanation. Haha.”
“What are you saying, Asahi-kun? We should still explain things to senpai!”
“Eh? What’s going on?” I slightly tilted my head in confusion.
“In other words, Terushima-san, because you can see the cat ears, you have to become the student council secretary.” Mashiro-senpai said with his stoic voice.
“Good thing you understand now—”
What the heck?
“Wait! Wait! What does that have to do with anything?!” I yelled out of confusion. “In the first place, Mashiro-senpai is just the vice-president, right? Where in the world is your president? They should be the one doing this kind of negotiations—”
I stopped in my ranting when everyone in the room fell silent. The four guys stared at me bewilderment. They all have different emotions in their face. Mashiro-senpai, as expected, is glaring at me. The calico also looks angry. The orange guy and the gray boy look disappointed on me. What about the black one…?
I turned around to see him crouching with gloomy aura leaking around him in one of the corners in the room.
“Uuuu… I’m really a useless president, aren’t I? Maybe it’s better if I just quit for good… I’m a good for nothing person. Of course, no one likes black cats… everyone hates how ominous they are. To all black cats in the world, I’m sorry for being such a disappointment…” he continued rambling to himself in depression in the corner.
My mouth agape with the sudden realization.
D-DOES THIS MEAN THAT HE WAS THE PRESIDENT ALL ALONG?! HE DOESN’T SEEM LIKE ONE!
“Hikari Terushima.” It won’t take a genius to know who spoke just now.
Full name! My full name was mentioned!
Mashiro-senpai called my full name in a menacing tone that I gulped before answering.
“W-what is it, Mashiro-senpai…?” I forced a smile in hopes of getting a least bit of mercy from this white demon. Please let me live a little bit longer!
Ah, I really went and did something horrible.