Sunday, July 16, 2017

"Cats' Moving" by Osaragi Jiro

I posted this in former Redroom blog about ten years ago. Below, I translated a part of `Cats` Moving’ by Jiro Osaragi.  The article was written in 1958 for the Oosaka Newspaper.  Osaragi was a member of the writers who started Bonbori Festival in Kamakura to boost Japan’s culture that was sluggish because of WWII.  I hope you enjoy.

On my arrival home, everyone seems normal.  When I say everyone, I include not just people but cats.  In fact, the number of cats exceeds the number of people.  Even the orange colored, tabby kitten, whom I`ve never met before, comes out and greets me.   In total, there are nine cats. 

“Hm…fewer than I thought, ` I mumble with a twisted smile. 

The kitten is also a stray.  People must have learned that our family is fond of cats, so strangers keep coming from nowhere and dump cats at our house.  This is annoying, but my wife takes cats in.  One cat is cute, but when the number goes up to ten, and they roam around the house freely day and night, they are no longer cute.   

A while ago, I told my wife and housekeepers, `When the number passes 15, I’ll give the house to the cats, and I’ll move out. `This threat was effective.  I was successful to cap the cat population at 15. Cats do not write manuscripts and earn living.   Meanwhile, a new cat turns up again, and a housekeeper rides a bicycle to a far-away place and turns it loose.  

Dinnertime arrives.  15 cats line up in a row of 15 dishes.  To be sure, once I counted the dishes and found 16, so I called my wife and said,

          "Hey, one too many.  I’ll move out." 

“He is only a guest.  After he is done, he is going home. “

No comments: