[Chiyo] It’s the Year of the Tiger.

2022 is the Year of the Tiger. I happen to have a cousin who actually is a tiger. This was us when we were kids:

A picture of Chiyo the cat and Tomiko the tiger when they were children.

Tomiko is good at a lot of things. She is a fierce leader at the company she works for. She is a go-getter and the pride and joy of my aunt and uncle. Ever since we were little, we were always compared by our relatives.

I always resented her for being the superior feline. (=🝦 ༝ 🝦=) I would dread every family gathering during the Lunar New Year because it became an annual ritual to put me side by side with Tomiko, where ultimately I paled in comparison to her. (╯°□°)╯( ┻━┻

But then… in the end I still like her a lot. Because she never basks in the glory of winning this “competition”. She would shrug it off and say, “What’s the point of this?” And then she would ask me to go and play outdoors with her (where I have to say, we were both equal in our energy to play!).

This year I met up with her again, and now that we are all grown up and we can’t have large gatherings like we did in the past, nobody bothered to compare us anymore. Instead, I had a really lovely New Year meetup with Tomiko as we caught up with each other and wondered why we didn’t do this more often. (´ ᴗ`✿)

Maybe Lunar New Year celebrations aren’t so bad after all.

A selfie illustration of Chiyo the cat and Tomiko the tiger.

[Chiyo] Insensitive people.

Do you have a friend who is a cat lover who gushes about how cute cats are all day and how they want to cuddle with them all day? Well, DON’T. If you love cats, take them seriously and treat them with respect. Just the other day I had an acquaintance come over and he was just awful.

Before I tell you the whole story, I would like to say that all my life I’ve encountered people who tell me how cute I am as a compliment – it is anything but a compliment when the implication is that I don’t get taken seriously or shown any respect when I’m “cute”!!! (๑・`▱´・๑)

Okay, so just the other day, I invited Junpei and our colleague (whom I’ll just call A-san here) to my house for tea. I tidied, by the way, so I took a photo:

Everything was fine and dandy, until A-san noticed I had an electronic keyboard in the corner of the room.

“Oh Chiyo-chan, I didn’t know you play the keyboard! Could you play something for us?” He asked.

Just so you know, I’d only just started learning how to play it recently, so I’m no Mozart. But how could you turn down a guest, right? It seemed rude. So I told him very honestly that I was an amateur and to pardon me for my poor playing.

Then I began to play a piece I was recently practising and it was Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect”. I really liked this song because they often play it at weddings. (˵¯͒〰¯͒˵) It started out fine, then on the way to the chorus, I started to slip up and hit the wrong keys. A-san loudly noted this at once. He laughed jovially and said things like:

“Oh Chiyo-chan, I’m not sure the song goes like this.”

“The bride is tripping down the aisle now, haha!”

He went on and on. And on. And on. I was so angry. I am so angry. I was going to throw my keyboard at him in rage. (Am I the bad guy here?!)

I think I might have left some claw marks on the keys.

Then Junpei very calmly said, “Here, A-san, have some cookies.” And he stuffed A-san’s mouth so quickly that A-san couldn’t even laugh or say another word.

What a waste of a good cookie.

Then he looked at me and said, “I thought that was a very beautiful effort for having started learning the keyboard for only a month.” And he clapped for me and took me away from my rage.

When A-san finally spluttered back to words, Junpei promptly said it was time to leave and got up so efficiently and matter-of-factly that A-san could not protest.

What would I do without Junpei?!

Anyway, Junpei loves to collect quotes. So it was no surprise when he texted me this quote after he had left:

Who…is that?

Yeah. I’m not going to invite A-san to my home ever again.