In front of Zheng Tan were two puppies.
One nestled against Tiger. The other one, that just came running over, began to bite Tiger's ear after a few barks.
From the look of it, he was just play biting or else Tiger wouldn't be taking it so calmly.
The three of them seem familiar enough that they must have met before. These two puppies must have arrived in those two days he was gone.
Zheng Tan jumped on a nearby tree. The owner of the two pups should be in the vicinity; he was prepared to find out who they were.
Half an hour later, several old men slowly walked over; two of them had dog leashes in their hands.
Listening to their conversation, Zheng Tan figured out the reason behind the appearance of the puppies.
The first of the two men, Mr. Li, was also a retired biology professor. He specialized in botany and often went on walks to Professor Lan's garden.
He lived on the first floor of Tiger's building. Tiger often went in through his place when he couldn't open the front door. Zheng Tan was familiar with him.
The second man, Mr. Yan, did not belong to the department of health sciences. Zheng Tan had seen him around the Eastern quarters a few times but didn't know much about him.
According to them, several cases of theft had happened last week in the quarters, so the two men decided to raise dogs to guards their homes.
Mr. Li's building hadn't been robbed so far, but he lived on the first floor and decided to take precautions. He called his son to get him a large dog.
He said he didn't have any requirements except that the dog had to be large. He wanted something that looked imposing. He didn't want anything like a Chihuahua.
They didn't look they were capable of much.
His son thought about it then contacted some friends. City bylaws had restrictions on large dogs, which made pet registrations extremely difficult.
It wasn't like he could get his father an aggressive dog anyways. What if it harmed someone living in the faculty residence? But it wasn't like he could refuse his father's request.
Eventually, he bought a St. Bernard from a friend. It was big enough and relatively gentle. Though the drooling could become a problem.
Mr. Li studied plants, so dogs weren't his specialty. He decided that as long as it was a large dog, he would be happy. So when he saw the dog, he immediately decided he was going to take it.
"This is a nice pup. I'll call him Daisy."
Zheng Tan pictured a full grown St. Bernard, with its droopy face, being called Daisy. It was awful.
Mr. Yan lived in the building where the theft happened. His home was untouched but he too was worried. So he rang up his daughter, who was abroad, for some advice.
His standards for a dog were different from Mr. Li. He didn't care about its size, as long as it bit.
Of course the dog wasn't supposed to bite anyone living in the quarter, but it needed to be able to protect its owner if someone dangerous came near.
Some dogs only looked scary, but wouldn't even bark when thieves break in.
So his daughter had a friend bring him this bull terrier. It was the somewhat deformed looking puppy that just ran over.
It was white with black circles around its eyes, like it was punched in the face. The puppy looked somewhat funny with its small beady eyes.
Mr. Yan had named the bull terrier Mighty. After learning that the breed was aggressive to other animals, he decided to let it familiarize itself with the animals in the quarter.
Even if it was going to grow up into a mean little thing, it shouldn't be men to its neighbors.
It appeared that this bull terrier, like the noisy parrot, liked to bite on cat ears. It was also a tad too energetic. It had been jerking around this whole time.
It was probably not going to calm down after it grew up. In contrast, Daisy, who was larger than both Tiger and Mighty, was much quieter.
After whining a bit, she was falling asleep after being licked by Tiger.
The three were getting along well, but who knew what would happen after the puppies grew up?
In any case, Zheng Tan could foresee peace forever leaving the Eastern quarters.
Zheng Tan went back home to have lunch. Yi Xin had brought back some food. It was cold by the time he got home, but he had to live with it.
Yi Xin had fallen asleep on the couch after lunch. He still had to work on thesis later.
Zheng Tan grew bored, so he went out again. Basking in the warm afternoon sun, he was growing sleepy. He didn't see the other cats around, so he decided to go to the lake.
At this hour, the area was usually deserted. Zheng Tan jumped on a willow tree.
Since he became a cat, Zheng Tan developed a habit of lying on high places. it was strange that he was not afraid of the height, nor was he afraid of falling off in his dreams.
He always slept peacefully on trees.
He heard someone approaching, Zheng Tan opened his eyes. A young woman holding a stack of books sat down on a bench near his tree.
The women looked familiar. He searched his memory. It was the "actress" from the "soap opera" that parrot was watching the other day.
Zheng Tan looked at her belly. Perhaps it was because she was wearing loose fitting clothes, she didn't look three months pregnant.
Zheng Tan had left early that day and missed the rest of the "show". He didn't know much about her, but from the looks of things, she was close to her due date.
He twitched his ears. Zheng Tan didn't try to figure out the plot of that day's events. It had nothing to do with him. Besides, "soap operas" like that one happened every day in this country.
He closed his eyes, ready to fall back asleep, when he heard approaching footsteps again. This time, it seemed like a man.
But it wasn't a man. Zheng Tan saw a woman, around 50, walking towards them. She had a stern look that was comparable only to that of Professor Lan's.
She had the aura of someone in high places, who was used to commandeering those around her.