Wednesday, January 14, 2009

mi-chan, more than a kitty

Everyone, say hi to Mi-chan.

Mi-chan, what are you looking at?

There's nothing down there. Wanna say hi to my readers?

Can you just stay still while I take your picture? This won't hurt one bit.

Please? Just don't move for a sec while I take your nice little picture. You're gonna be famous.

OMG. Stop. shaking. already.

Everyone, meet Mi-chan. She's really quite adorable, when she's not being too active or in one of her moods. Seriously, I think she gets too hyper after the sun goes down. I hardly see her during the daytime. But come night, she has this tendency to run up and down the stairs, in and out of Watanabe-san's room as if she's seen a ghost.

I've been wanting to share a little story about Mi-chan for some time.

For as long as I can remember, I've never really liked animals. Or maybe they don't like me!

I remember as a child, there was a dog kept by our maid's family, and that I was almost bitten by it when I went too near the rambutan tree.

But also, when I was younger I was asthmatic. I had to stay away from anything furry like carpets, fluffy blankets, and animals, and even dust. I used that as an excuse not to do housework! So that meant no pets. Or rather, pets with fur like cats and dogs. So I grew up not having that kind of pet, though I did remember keeping gold fishes and little tortoises.

Even after I was cured of my asthma, I was still careful about being close to fur and all. So I was quite hesitant when I found out that the landlord reared a cat. I figured, since I managed to live with a carpet in the dorm for a year, I should not have a problem with a cat which was not going to live in my room.

I've always heard that people who have pets live a longer life, and are less stressful. I had no doubt that was true. But because of my lifelong experience, I was not used to touching animals. I would squeal if a dog would so much as come near and try to lick me.

However, one day, I decided to just try and touch Mi-chan. I was a bit hesitant of how she might react, so I stroked very lightly at her fur near the neck. She didn't really respond at first, neither did she run off in fright.

But as I stroked her more, I realised it was really a nice feeling. She even seemed to like it, lowering her head and gesturing as if she wanted to be stroked more.

Suddenly, to my own surprise, I started to cry.

I had not realised that it was an expression of my own feelings, kept deep inside till then. At that time, I had just moved to Tokyo not too long. I had said goodbye to my parents who came to visit me for my graduation, said goodbye to the friends who formed my community back in Niigata, said goodbye to the idyllic lifestyle in the village of Urasa.

Everything that I was used to changed dramatically when I came to Tokyo. It was a big contrast to where I had come from. I had been trying to be strong while adapting to a very different lifestyle in this metropolitan.

No doubt God had been with me all those while.

If not, He wouldn't have blessed me with this wonderful place with a really generous landlord. If not, He wouldn't have blessed me with many new friends who've been really kind to me. If not, I wouldn't have grown to love Tokyo despite its krazy culture.

And I think, maybe He sent Mi-chan to help heal my heart too.

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