5 April, Hiro Arikawa

文字数 3,949文字

Oh Tom

Date: XX/XX
In the middle of the night, I felt snuffling and heavy breathing at my pillow. Bristly whiskers touching me. I opened my eyes and saw, at close range, Tom stretching and looking in my direction. His pitch black eyes pestered me: get up, get up. I followed his lead, him turning around to make sure I was behind him, until he reached the box of treats in the living room. I gave him a snack since he was hungry. It was three in the morning. Oh Tom, you adorable bastard.

Date: XX/XX
He wakes me at three every morning, depriving me of sleep, so today I went to bed determined to ignore him. I ignored his snuffling; he jumped on my pillow and started kneading it. I kept pretending to be asleep, and one time out of five he stepped on my face, as if it were an accident. I gave in to his persistence and got up. Oh Tom, you adorable bastard.

Date: XX/XX
I went to bed determined: today I won’t get up. Ignored his snuffling. Ignored the kneading. Tom retreated. I’m going to have a good sleep now, I thought, when suddenly I heard an electronic cheep! cheep! I turned and saw that the bird calls were coming from one of his toys. He’d decided to use it as an alarm to wake up his human. What a genius. Oh Tom, you adorable bastard.

Date: XX/XX
I won’t let him win. Ignored his snuffling. Ignored the kneading. Ignored the cheep! cheep! He jumped on my pillow again. The kneading no longer works. So he straddled my face. His belly fur rested just at a level where I couldn’t tell if it was or wasn’t touching my nose. Not much I could do but get up, was there? Oh Tom, you adorable bastard.

Date: XX/XX
I cannot let him win. Ignored the snuffling, the kneading, the cheeping. Avoided the belly fur attack by turning on my side. Tom retreated. The crazed cheep-cheep-cheep-cheep [omitted for space] bird calls from the living room. Enraged, Tom keeps making the cheepy noise from the bird’s toy. The rock ‘n’ roll beat led by anger drowned out any drowsiness. Oh Tom, you adorable bastard.

Date: XX/XX
Ignored the snuffling, ignored the kneading, immediately picked up the cheep-cheeper and hid it in the futon. Avoided the belly fur. Tom turned in the opposite direction of the pillow, rubbing his forehead against my face violently. Then he came to me trying to be so damn cute. Maybe if I ignore him he won’t do it again. He only does it because he gets something out of it. Oh Tom, you adorable bastard.

Date: XX/XX
I took a nap because I hadn’t slept enough. Tom was sunbathing by the screen door. All of a sudden, he bristled up and started making anxious noises. I looked and saw a little visitor outside. Oh, hey cutie, I called out, and Tom gave me such a look. His eyes said more than his mouth ever could. What the hell do you think you’re saying?! Oh Tom, you adorable bastard.
  A few cherry blossom petals that the wind had blown into the screen door fluttered. Cute little strangers. Tom walks away.
  The cherry blossoms I can see from my window have now started to fall.

  Tom is my cat.
  It’s 2020, and yes, while the world isn’t engulfed in nuclear flames, it’s still pretty bad.
  But the daphne, magnolia, and cherry trees still bloomed this year.
  All the spring flowers will bloom next year, too.
  And next year, Tom and I will still be doing battle at midnight, too.

Translated by Morgan Giles/Arranged by TranNet KK

Hiro Arikawa
Born in Kōchi Prefecture. Made her literary debut in 2004 with




(City of salt), for which she won the Dengeki Novel Prize. Her other works include the JSDF trilogy, consisting of








(In the sky), and




(The bottom of the sea), the Library wars series,



(Hankyu train),



(The Travelling Cat Chronicles),




(Tomorrow’s children), and




(Annma and us).




  • 特大
  • 生成り
  • 水色
  • 明朝
  • ゴシック
  • 横組み
  • 縦組み