Chapter 2: Cat Lover

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One cat.

Two cats.

Three cats.

A hundred cats.

As far as the eye could reach - the land was filled with fantastical fluffy kittens.

In the center sat a slender teenager with natural tan skin. Her tall figure was overrun by dozens of purring cats, all of which were petted affectionately.

"So cute~"

Using her long brown arms, the girl hugged six kittens at once and rubbed her cheek against all of them.

One kitten had tiny dragon claws and climbed up the girl's black hair. Another cat extended a furry elephant trunk from its face and playfully stroke the girl's cheek.

"Haha, it tickles~"

The girl laughed happily and moved her caressing hands across all the peculiar critters around her. Being surrounded by countless adorable animals, being loved by all of them and being able to snuggle them - truly, that was heaven.

RING RING RING

"Ah! No!"

Three kittens vanished from her arms. She tightly hugged the remaining cats, shielding them like a loving mother.

RING RING RING

All the adorable cats dissolved into nothingness.

"N-noooo!"

RING RING RING

"Ah..."

Erika slowly opened her eyes. She mechanically stretched her long arm and turned off the alarm.

"Hah... they were so cute..."

Erika looked at her palms in melancholy. Just a moment ago, these hands were touching the most bizarrely adorable critters in existence.

But she had no choice but to accept the harsh reality. A reality, in which such magical fluffiness didn't exist.

Erika sighed and dragged herself out of bed. When she entered the living room, she was greeted with an unfriendly growl.

"Grrrrr."

A black dog lied on a sofa chair and glared at Erika with hostility.

"Good morning, Constantine."

Erika smiled toward the intimidating dog, but she received sharp bark as a reply.

Tch, not cute at all.

She shook her head and proceeded to the living room. The dog's snarling eventually stopped, when Erika was at last five meters away.

"Good morning, Eri."

"Good morning, mom."

A blonde businesswoman stood by the table. She sipped her daily black coffee and typed on her smartphone.

"Hm? Say, Eri..."

The mother, Laura, put down her phone and examined Erika from head to toe. Laura stretched her hand toward Erika's forehead. There was a striking contrast between Laura's fair hand and Erika's brown forehead.

"Did you grow taller again?"

"I hope not..."

Erika muttered and shifted her eyes away. Unlike her, Laura was very entertained by the possibility and smiled proudly.

"At this rate, you may even break some world record. You may even receive a prize for it."

"Please, anything but that..."

Erika dropped her head in depression, almost sobbing. Her mother was by no means a short woman. However, the teenage Erika was already taller than most women in the country; she meticulously researched such statistics.

Dad's cursed genes...

Erika growled and glanced at the sofa chair. Normally, the chair was occupied by a giant, not by a snarling hound.

"Where's dad?"

"Still at work. An emergency came up, so he stayed for another operation."

"I see."

Erika sat down to eat her breakfast.

"Meow~"

"Hm?"

Erika immediately turned her head around.

"Meow~ Meow~"

Mewing sounds resounded from the window's direction.

"Tch, these annoying felines."

Laura clicked her tongue and peeked out of the window. There were no less than five cats gathered under the window. Just watching these dreadful creatures made Laura's skin all itchy.

"Someone in the area must be feeding them. Imbeciles."

Laura coldly shut the window and started typing on her phone.

"I'll call someone to get rid of them. They'll multiply like crazy otherwise."

"M-mom, is there a need to go that far? They're just poor, starving animals."

Erika intently stared at Laura with pleading eyes.

"Hmm... fine. This is more trouble than it's worth anyway."

Laura put down her phone and finished her black coffee. She put the mug at the cleaning machine and headed to the door.

"Don't forget to lock the door."

Laura waved to her daughter with a soft smile and left the apartment. Erika continued to eat her breakfast, until only a third of it remained.

This should be enough.

Erika stood up and delivered her unfinished breakfast to the kitchen. She poured the leftovers into a plastic bag and headed to the door.

"Grrrr."

The black hound glared at Erika with judging eyes.

"Hmph."

Erika ignored the hellhound's opinion and left the apartment. She went down the stairs and reached the area with starving kittens.

"Meow!" "Meow~"

The five cats immediately recognized their patron and ran toward Erika. But, unlike in her dream, the cats maintained a safe distance from her. They were eager to leap onto the bag of food, but they were caution of the tall human.

Erika smiled wryly at the cautious kittens, all too used to this cold treatment. She laid out the food and took a few steps back.

"Meow! Meow!"

The hungry cats latched onto the food, mewing and pushing each other with their furry foreheads.

So cute~

Erika smiled from ear to ear as she watched the little critters noming in passion. She reached toward one of the cats, but her hand retreated when the cat became scared.

She watched the mesmerizing kitties for a few minutes and then left for school.


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