Reborn into a Hamster for 233 Days
Quality Check: Tezuka
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 7: Tomato-stewed Fish
Yan Jin kneaded Xiao Yu awhile. Maybe it was because of the silly look that Xiao Yu had as he tweaked his ears and scratched his cheeks, but it looked too energetic, which made Yan Jin’s senses return. He doubtfully asked, “Chu Ge, you’re not joking, are you?”
Chu Ge quickly hid his phone that he used to secretly take a picture of Yan Jin while he was depressed earlier behind his back, and with an indifferent expression, he shrugged, “Guess?”
At that very moment, Xiao Yu suddenly understood a sentence that went, ‘similar things group together, similar people fit together’.
With Yan Jin’s horrible personality, how could his friends be pushovers that he could manipulate?
Chu Ge opened his mouth and laughed silently – the meaning was crystal-clear.
“You are a doctor, is this your attitude towards a living being?” Yan Jin’s tone was filled with anger.
Chu Ge rolled up his sleeve and pointed at his watch: “It’s 8:30 pm right now. I finished two operations earlier this afternoon. I just got home for a shower, hadn’t even had a single meal and yet rushed all the way through the highways to get here. In the end? You ask me to look at a mouse. Is that your attitude towards your friend?”
Yan Jin once again emphasized, “I did not call for you. I called for Elder Fang.”
Che Ge: …
It was a comrade that he had acknowledged himself; he had to bear with him no matter what.
Although Yan Jin kept emphasizing that he called for Elder Fang, Elder Fang was too old after all. He had already let Chu Ge take over the Yan family matters two years ago. Currently, it was an unspoken fact that Chu Ge was already the Yan’s family doctor. However, as Yan Jin never took the initiative to call the family doctor as his checkups were done by Chu Ge when Yan Jin called for Elder Fang this time around, Chu Ge really thought something bad had happened to him.
Of course, Yan Jin knew all that; he did feel guilty in his heart, otherwise, he wouldn’t have wasted time talking nonsense with him.
“How is it exactly?”
Chu Ge stopped his pretentious act and admitted straightforwardly, “How would I know? I’m not a veterinarian.”
Feeling bewildered, Yan Jin asked, “But I remember your second specialization in university was biomedical science?”
Chu Ge: “After all that talk, your true intention was to trick me here on purpose?”
“Don’t divert the topic.”
“Oh please, biomedical science has got nothing to do with veterinary science, okay?! Biomedical science refers to biology and engineering technology which means the study and research of the life sciences…” Chu Ge closed his eyes as he started reciting the definition.
Yan Jin clicked his tongue.
Chu Ge knew that was a sign for him to stop. He giddily fiddled with Xiao Yu, and Xiao Yu did not go easy on him as he opened his mouth and bit him.
“Aiyo, your pet has such a bad temper, I think the fall made him stupid. How could he bite such a handsome guy like me?”
Yan Jin gestured with his hand and waved him off: “Since there’s nothing wrong, you may go back now.”
“I’m not in a position to determine if there’s really nothing wrong. You should bring it to the veterinary hospital tomorrow instead.”
Yan Jin shut his eyes as he nodded his head, very clearly showing that he was asking him to leave.
Chu Ge was so pissed that his anger had depleted: “Hey you, throwing me away once I’m of no use? This little guy is such an unfortunate soul to be living with you. You can’t even save yourself, yet you still bought it to play with.”
“It’s not bought, it ran into my house on its own.”
Obviously unconvinced, Chu Ge rebuked, “Impossible, you must be lying. Fine, I won’t care about what you want to keep, just don’t call me in the middle of the night again.”
The two friends continued chatting for a while. Before Chu Gu left, he blurted out a question: “Oh right, what’s this little guy’s name?”
Yan Jin raised his eyebrow: “What for?”
“I’ll order the cage for you, seeing how you’re so inexperienced with such things. My girlfriend used to keep some. At least I know a bit more than you do.”
Xiao Yu perked up the moment he heard that conversation. He too wanted to know what his new name was. If it was something like ‘Dog 2’ or ‘Dumbo’, he’d bite Yan Jin to death straight away.
Thankfully, Yan Jin wasn’t as bad at naming as Xiao Yu had thought.
He simply thought for a moment and decided: “It shall be ‘Fishy’¹ then.”
Xiao Yu certainly did not expect that Yan Jin would name him that way; it was coincidentally pronounced the same way as his own name. It would be as if constantly reminding him the fact that he was once a human.
Fishy, fishy; Xiao Yu, Xiao Yu.
Xiao Yu felt his nose sting as if he was going to cry – that nickname was only known by the closest people around him, which was why the coincidence was unbearable.
Chu Ge did not understand: “Why are you naming a hamster ‘fish’?”
Yan Jin mysteriously replied, “Because tomato-stewed fish is tasty.”
“And what has that got to do with tomatoes? Are you kidding me? I remember the cat you kept previously was also named ‘Fishy’, wasn’t it?” Chu Ge suddenly recalled, “I remember that you once said that it was because the cat loved to eat fish, so it was named ‘Fishy’?”
Without a single trace of awkwardness from getting exposed, Yan Jin directly waved his hands and gestured him away: “What I name my pet has got nothing to do with you.”
“Fine, fine, fine. It has nothing to do with me, and neither am I interested in it.”
Chu Ge’s hand was already on the doorknob, but he was stopped by Yan Jin: “Wait, you’re saying that your girlfriend kept hamsters before?”
“Yeah, what’s wrong?”
“What did she feed them?”
Chu Ge, whose knowledge was only half-assed, could not come up with anything. But to not lose face in front of Yan Jin, he decided to feign his knowledge: “Aren’t hamsters’ omnivores? Just feed it whatever you eat.”
Not too long later, Chu Ge eventually did a quick search and realized that a hamster’s diet was in fact very troublesome. There was a whole list of foods that hamsters couldn’t eat and there was some food that they could only be fed sparingly, or occasionally. The burning sensation on his face was evident.
Due to that naive sentence from Chu Ge, the one who benefited the most was Xiao Yu.
Because for a very short period after this incident, he successfully was able to eat human food.
Although, it was just for a very short period.
For example, on the second morning, Yan Jin personally cooked a meal.
That was Xiao Yu’s first weekend after his arrival at Yan Jin’s home.
Last night, because there was no cage for him to rest in, Yan Jin placed Xiao Yu on the bedside cabinet as usual.
But this time around, Xiao Yu was given a nicely folded hand towel.
The tomato that Xiao Yu despised stayed still in the corner of the cabinet. The edge that was bitten off had already slightly changed color. Xiao Yu did not spare a single glance at that tomato as he curled on the soft towel and feel asleep warmly.
The shock earlier along with the comfortable sleep made Xiao Yu really want to stay in bed till noon.
However, Yan Jin had already carried Xiao Yu out of the room early in the morning.
Slowly recovering from his sleepy state, Xiao Yu made a big yawn. Then, the feeling of being lifted off ground didn’t feel comfortable, so he lightly scratched Yan Jin’s finger and attempted to climb upwards.
In fact, the human and the hamster had some mutual understanding between them – Yan Jin turned his hand around and let Xiao Yu successfully climb onto the palm of his hand.
Xiao Yu nested himself into Yan Jin’s palm, lying on his belly with his four paws outstretched. Under no circumstances when he wasn’t getting teased did he plan on lying on his back.
Yan Jin settled Xiao Yu at a side and entered the kitchen himself. The incident with Xiao Yu last night instilled some lingering fear in Yan Jin, and hence he did not choose the dining table that was high and covered with ceramic tile at the bottom. Instead, he placed Xiao Yu on the coffee table that was lower with a carpet-covered flooring.
“Stay still, you won’t get any food if you run about.” Yan Jin threatened before he left as he rubbed Xiao Yu’s head.
The sound of pots and pans clanging could be heard from the kitchen, followed by sounds of stir-frying.
Xiao Yu was very much surprised, he simply did not expect Yan Jin to be able to cook on his own. From the words of outsiders, Yan Jin was already a very capable man. Instead of finding out more of his good points, Xiao Yu was more interested in his shortcomings.
Yet after few days of observation, Yan Jin was truly an outstanding person in all kinds of aspects – he went to work on time, had a fixed life schedule from nine-to-five, was cautious and conscientious, did not spend his nightlife in random places. Although his personality might be a little lacking…
No, it was not ‘a little lacking’, it was extremely horrible; there were no limits to that.
However, a thought immediately came to Xiao Yu’s mind — such prejudiced acknowledgement and Yan Jin’s attitude towards the female population, according to the rumors in the outside world, it shouldn’t be considered bad at all – an indifferent attitude without losing his manners, without any actions that seemed to be beyond rules along with his ability to let the majority of crowd love him anyway.
As to why he was treated so badly, it was not totally inexplicable. For a person from the opponent company to suddenly appear and accuse their company’s designer of stealing their work, no matter who it was, there was no possibility of having a pleasant expression, right?
Hold on, does that mean it was still his own mistake?
No, no, no, that plagiarizing incident was definitely a real thing.
Xiao Yu felt a bit puzzled.
Putting aside the story about the human Xiao Yu, it was a fact that Yan Jin was completely unfriendly towards a cute and attractive little animal like him.
That’s why, regardless of how good his external factors were, Yan Jin was simply a nasty person in nature.
Everyone was duped by Yan Jin’s appearance. Only he, who was attentive enough realized that truth.
Did that mean Yan Jin’s adoption of him after he was reborn, was in fact, God’s arrangement to unveil his repulsive appearance, to serve justice on the behalf of humanity?
Xiao Yu was shocked by his own fantasy-like deduction. Yet in the next second, it seemed like that logic was a real possibility. Even a human could turn into a hamster; the heavenly law theories that appeared in short novels didn’t seem as impossible.
Finally, the tilted equilibrium in Xiao Yu’s heart regained its gravity.
When Yan Jin took out the dish that he had finished cooking, he quickly noticed Xiao Yu sinisterly smirking.
Don’t ask him how he deduced ‘sinister’ from a hamster’s face.
“Come over and eat.”
Yan Jin squatted down and reached his hand towards the coffee table. Xiao Yu ran over smugly and squatted firmly on Yan Jin’s palm as he was transported to the side of the dining table.
It smells so nice.
The aromatic smell made its way into Xiao Yu’s nose. After suffering without any human food for the past few days, Xiao Yu could feel his saliva drooling out.
The moment Yan Jin put him down, Xiao Yu impatiently dashed to the side with the colorful dish and gorged himself.
Yan Jin watched the scene with interest as he pulled a chair, sat down, and watched Xiao Yu devour the food ravenously.
“So, hamsters are actually this humanized,” Yan Jin sighed.
He kept pets more than once – dogs, cats, and even some exotic ones – it’s just that, no matter how much he looked after them with the utmost care, the longest they would survive was only a week or two.
The Fengshui master once told him that this house had too much negative energy, so he advised Yan Jin to perhaps keep some pets to add some life energy into the house.
Two years ago, when that Scottish Fold cat that only loved to eat fish passed away, Yan Jin kept his thoughts on having another pet at bay.
Until a hamster who lost its way staggered into his house.
That name was in fact given after careful consideration; since the Scottish Fold cat named Fishy was no longer around, if there were supernatural beings causing mischief, then he hoped that they would let off this Fishy that was living on behalf of that Scottish Fold cat.
The thought of it sounded pretentious.
That added a smiling expression to Yan Jin’s lips.
Xiao Yu completely did not notice Yan Jin as he was eating joyfully.
The sliced fish that was sour, soft, fresh and tender – just one bite and the aromatic taste of the fish filled his mouth. The reason why there was not a single tinge of fishiness was because of the sour-sweet tomato seasoning – it was not only appetizing, but it was also delicious.
This dish of tomato-stewed fish slices was as close to the standards of a five-star hotel!
Xiao Yu suddenly stopped taking in his food as he raised his silly-stunned hamster face and looked at Yan Jin.
Tomato… stewed fish?
The tomato, could it be the one that was randomly shoved to him by Yan Jin a few days ago that he even took a bite out of? That tomato?
Jerk! It had already been given to him, it was HIS tomato! On what grounds could he take it away to stew it! And even used it to stew fish slices!
It was his tomato!
Yan Jin flicked Xiao Yu’s head: “Why are you squeaking, I even let you eat your ownership money, you can rest assured now.”
YOU – MUST – BE – MAD -!
 小鱼 / Fishy – Xiao Yu’s hamster name; in Chinese Hanyu pinyin (pronunciation) is also called Xiao Yu. To avoid confusion, I’m using ‘Fishy’ instead.