“Uwaaaaaaaaaa…So cuuuuuuuuttteeeee! I… I might lose it…”
As we entered the gate of the Wan-Nyan Paradise, the mascot characters of dogs and cats warmly welcomed us. I wondered if the people inside these costumes received extensive training, as they were doing their best to entertain us, even in this scorching heat.
“Look, Taiga! That cat character is so cute!”
“Should we get a picture with it? We have plenty of time.”
“Is it really okay?”
As soon as I suggested it, Mio dashed towards her favorite mascot. I hurriedly followed her.
“Taiga! Come on, hurry up!”
“Alright, alright, no need to rush!”
While saying that, I managed to take a picture of the three of us – me, the cat-guy, and Mio. Mio was in high spirits, and that’s all that mattered.
“So, where should we go first?”
“Of course, the Petting Area! Let’s start with the dogs!”
Literally a spot where you can freely interact with friendly dogs, the Petting Area was the most popular attraction in Wan-Nyan Paradise. For someone like Mio, who adored cute things, it was like heaven on earth.
I, too, loved both dogs and cats, which was why we came here. But… I couldn’t help but feel anxious. Mio reassured me with a smile.
“Fufu, don’t worry, Taiga! These little guys are probably used to people, and they’ll warm up to you! No need to be nervous!”
“I hope so…”
Yes, the sad truth was that I wasn’t very popular with animals, dogs and cats alike. It wasn’t that they disliked me; they just didn’t approach me. Dogs would sniff and turn away, while cats would nonchalantly ignore me.
On the other hand, Mio was a hit with animals. Even fierce guard dogs in the neighborhood would easily roll over to show her their bellies.
Well, there was no point in being anxious now. Holding hands with Mio, I followed her to the Petting Area.
Even from the outside, you could see there were various dog breeds, from small to large. Everyone playing with the dogs had smiles on their faces, from kids to adults.
As soon as we entered, the dogs rushed towards us enthusiastically. They made a beeline for Mio, who had her arms wide open, and they jumped right into her embrace.
“As expected, Mio is incredible… The dogs are falling for her instantly.”
“Taiga, this is amazing! So… so cute! Fluffy! Fluffy, Daigo! This place is heaven! Oh… no… I can’t… you can’t lick there… ahh…”
“Hey! What’s with this perverted dog?”
There was one particularly perverted dog, so I had to gently separate it from Mio. This was getting quite problematic. But seriously, Mio, you can make such seductive sounds… I mean!
“I’m a guy too, and I understand your feelings, but you’re taking it too far, don’t you think?”
I said that to the dog, but it just gave me a sulky look and pretended not to hear. That perverted dog! In its past life, it must have been a dirty old man.
“D-Don’t worry, okay? So don’t be too mad at him. You also… got a little excited, right? Good boy, good boy…”
While other dogs were licking my face, Mio was also patting them gently. The perverted dog wagged its tail joyfully as if to express its gratitude. Did it just give me a smug, triumphant grin? Nah, that must be my imagination.
This guy… must appreciate Mio’s kindness.
As I pondered my feelings of frustration, I suddenly realized a fluffy Golden Retriever had come up to my feet. It was rubbing its body against me and showed no sign of leaving. Could it be… was it trying to comfort me? I reached out my hand gently. The dog didn’t resist and happily licked my face back.
“Ugh… you’re such a kind dog.”
For someone like me who was never popular with dogs, and who had been ridiculed by that perverted dog earlier, this pup felt like an angel. Fluffy was incredible. Ah, I want to stay like this forever.
“Fufu, Taiga looks so happy… I’m glad!”
“Yeah… yeah… being fluffy feels amazing!”
After thoroughly enjoying the fluffiness of the dogs with Mio, we decided to have lunch and then go to a cat cafe where we could interact with cats. Rumor had it that this particular cat cafe had an unusually large number of cats.
Upon entering, unlike the dogs, the cats didn’t rush towards us, but they meowed as if welcoming us.
When we took our seats, some of the cats approached us curiously. One of them sniffed Mio and then, apparently feeling safe, jumped onto her lap. While none sat on my lap, a few cats came closer and interacted with me in their own ways.
Our food arrived shortly, and it was quite delicious. We savored a peaceful and heartwarming time that only cats could provide.
With genuine happiness in her eyes, Mio continued to stroke the cat’s head.
“I still enjoy our energetic outings, but these calm and relaxed moments are also amazing! Thank you for bringing me here, Taiga!”
“Yeah, you’re right. I remember you used to lean more towards being a cat person, right?”
“Yes… I did, but after spending time with all these different animals today, I can’t really choose anymore… They’re all so cute, and I love them all!!”
Mio, who had surrounded herself with numerous cats without realizing it, looked truly happy. Until just recently, it had been quite some time since I’d seen her smile like this. Just witnessing that smile made me think that coming here today was really worthwhile.
After finishing our lunch, we explored various spots and watched the mascot characters’ shows, and it was already late afternoon.
Since we were running out of places to visit, we headed to the merchandise area, which was one of my main goals for today. I had intended to buy a replacement for the cat keychain that Mio had accidentally broken. Even though I told her she could choose whatever she liked, it seemed she had trouble deciding, so I decided to pick something that I thought would be good for her.
I chose a keychain with a cute fluffy kitten, one that Mio would love. Since it was a special occasion, I decided to buy matching ones as a gift.
After leaving the store, Mio teary-eyed, held the gift close to her chest and looked up at me with her eyes sparkling.
“Thank you… really, thank you! I’ll make sure not to break it, and I’ll treasure it!”
“I’m sorry I couldn’t buy you something more expensive, but I’m glad you’re so happy.”
Afterward, Mio remained silent for a while. She might still feel guilty about breaking the previous item. I couldn’t help but wonder why she had done that. If she was suffering from something, I wanted to help, but it seemed like she didn’t want to talk about it, so I hesitated to ask.
Just as I was thinking about suggesting that we leave and find somewhere to have dinner, Mio suddenly grabbed the hem of my clothes tightly.
“Taiga… I can’t hold it in anymore. We’ve been childhood friends for so long, and I’ve been patient for ten years…”
“S-something going on? Why are you making that face all of a sudden?”
“Taiga… can you come to my house? Everyone’s going to be home late today…”
……..Eh? What’s the situation here?
TL: We caught up.