I am a Cat (Chapter 4 a) Section 122 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

下女げじょ更紗さらさ座布団ざぶとんとこまえなおして、どうぞこれへとがったあと鈴木すずきくん一応いちおう室内しつない見廻みまわす。床にけた花開はなひらく万国春ばんこくのはるとある木菴もくあん贋物にせものや、京製きょうせい安青磁やすせいじけた彼岸桜ひがんざくらなどを一々いちいち順番じゅんばん点検てんけんしたあとで、ふと下女のすすめた布団ふとんうえいつのにか一疋いっぴきねこすましてすわっている。もうすまでもなくそれはかくもう吾輩わがはいである。このとき鈴木君のむねのうちにちょっとの顔色かおいろにもほどの風波ふうはおこった。この布団はうたがいもなく鈴木君のためにかれたものである。自分じぶんのために敷かれた布団の上に自分がらぬさきからことわりもなくみょう動物どうぶつ平然へいぜん蹲踞そんきょしている。これが鈴木君のこころ平均へいきんやぶ第一だいいち条件じょうけんである。もしこの布団が勧められたまま、ぬしなくして春風しゅんぷうまかせてあったなら、鈴木君はわざと謙遜けんそんひょうして主人しゅじんがさあどうぞとまではかたたたみの上で我慢がまんしていたかもれない。しかし早晩そうばん自分の所有しょゆうすべき布団の上に挨拶あいさつもなく乗ったものはだれであろう。人間にんげんならゆずこともあろうが猫とはしからんが猫であると云うのが一段いちだん不愉快ふゆかいかんぜしめる。これが鈴木君の心の平均を破る第二だいに条件である。最後さいごその猫の態度たいどがもっともしゃくさわすこしはどくそうにでもしている事か、乗る権利けんりもない布団の上に、傲然ごうぜんかまえてまる無愛嬌ぶあいきょうぱちつかせて御前おまえは誰だいと云わぬばかりに鈴木君のかおつめている。これが平均を破壊はかいする第三だいさん条件である。これほど不平ふへいがあるなら、吾輩の頸根くびねっことらえてきずりおろしたらさそうなものだが、鈴木君はだまって見ている。堂々どうどうたる人間が猫におそれて手出てだをせぬと云う事はろうはずがないのに、なぜはや吾輩を処分しょぶんして自分の不平をらさないかと云うと、これはまった鈴木君が一個いっこの人間として自己じこ体面たいめん維持いじする自重心じちょうしんゆえであるとさっせらるる。もし腕力わんりょくうったえたなら三尺さんしゃく童子どうじも吾輩を自由じゆう上下じょうげであろうが、体面をおもんずるてんよりかんがえるといかに金田かねだ君の股肱ここうたる鈴木すずき藤十郎とうじゅうろうそのひともこの二尺にしゃく四方しほう真中まんなか鎮座ちんざましますねこだい明神みょうじん如何いかんともすること出来できのである。いかに人のていぬ場所ばしょでも、猫と座席ざせきあらそをしたとあってはいささか人間の威厳いげんかんする真面目まじめ猫を相手あいてにして曲直きょくちょくを争うのはいかにも大人気おとなげない滑稽こっけいである。この不名誉ふめいよけるためには多少たしょう不便ふべんしのばねばならぬ。しかし忍ばねばならぬだけそれだけ猫たいする憎悪ぞうおねんわけであるから、鈴木君は時々ときどき吾輩の顔を見てはにがかおをする。吾輩は鈴木君の不平な顔を拝見はいけんするのが面白おもしろから滑稽の念をおさえてなるべくなにわぬ顔をしている。

Rough translation

The maidservant arranges a cotton print seating cushion in front of the alcove and offers it to Suzuki. After she takes her leave, he pauses to survey the room. A replica of Mokuan's calligraphy hangs in the alcove. "Flowers blossom as spring covers the land," it reads. Higan cherry blossoms are arranged in a common greenware bowl of Kyōto make. He examines these and other items, one by one, as he makes his way round the room. Then suddenly, when he glances back at the cushion the maidservant offered, there upon it sits a cat. Needless to say, said cat is none other than yours truly. In this moment Suzuki experiences, deep down, so deep that it barely shows on his face, a ripple of distress. The cushion, without a doubt, was set in place for his use. This cushion, set in place for his use, has now been preempted by an odd creature that squats there as if it owns the place. This is the first thing that serves to rattle his nerves. Had the cushion remained as offered, unoccupied and open to the fancies of the spring breeze, he might well have seated himself on the stiff tatami, in show of deference, and waited for the master to intervene. Who is this, though, who without word takes a cushion meant for another. He might be inclined to yield to a fellow human, but to a cat, never! The loss of his cushion to a cat makes it all the more offensive. This is the second thing that serves to rattle his nerves. Finally, what bothers him most is the attitude of said cat. Far from showing even an inkling of sympathy, it crouches haughtily there on the cushion, a cushion to which it has no right, blinks its unfriendly round eyes from time to time, and gives him a look that all but says, "Who the hell are you?" This is the third thing that serves to rattle his nerves. If Suzuki is so annoyed then he should simply grab said cat by the scruff of the neck and resolve the matter. Instead, he just looks on in silence. There's no reason a full-grown human should fear to engage with a cat. What holds Suzuki back and keeps him from acting, I believe, is his sense of self-respect. He's determined to perserve his status as a dignified member of the human race. When push comes to shove, even a small child can fling me about, but bring preservation of dignity into the equation and even Suzuki Tōjūrō, right-hand man of Kaneda, is powerless against this great and hallowed cat, enshrined in the center of a small square of cushion. Unobserved though he is, to tussle with a cat over cushion access is demeaning. To fight in defense of one's rights, when the other party is a cat, is downright childish. It's all most amusing. To avoid dishonor, he suffers agitation. However, the more agitation he suffers the greater his enmity toward yours truly. From time to time he turns a sour face my way. For my part, I delight in his discontent. It's all I can do to keep a straight face.

Vocabulary

下女げじょ maidservant更紗さらさ cotton print (portuguese: saraca)座布団ざぶとん seating cushionとこ alcoveまえ front ofなおして set in orderがった took one's leave; withdrewあとで after鈴木すずき Suzuki (name)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)一応いちおう once over; for the time being室内しつない inside the room; within the room見廻みまわす look around; surveyけた was hung花開はなひらく万国春ばんこくのはる "flowers blossom as spring covers the land"木菴もくあん Mokuan (Jōō period calligrapher)贋物にせもの imitation; replica京製きょうせい made in Kyōto安青磁やすせいじ common celedon porcelain; common greenwareけた arranged (of flowers)彼岸桜ひがんざくら higan cherry; early-flowering cherry一々いちいち one by one; one at a time順番じゅんばんに in order点検てんけんした inspectedすすめた offered布団ふとん cushionうえ top ofる look atいつのにか before one knows it一疋いっぴき one (animal)ねこ catすまして with a look of indifferenceすわって sit; be seatedもうすまでもなく needless to sayかくもうす this; this very (= こういう)吾輩わがはい I; me; myselfとき time; momentむね breast; bosom interval; span顔色かおいろ countenance; (facial) expressionぬ not appear; not emerge風波ふうは perturbation; disturbance (lit: wind and waves)おこった occurred; arose; came aboutうたがいもなく without a doubt; indisputablyかれた was set out自分じぶん oneselfらぬさきから before one gets onto; before one sits onことわりもなく without notice; without asking permissionみょうな odd; curious; strange動物どうぶつ animal; creature平然へいぜんと calmly; coolly蹲踞そんきょして crouch; squatこころ mind; heart; spirit平均へいきん balance; equilibriumやぶる disturb; upset; disrupt第一だいいちの first条件じょうけん term; condition; articleぬしなくして without an owner; without a proprietor春風しゅんぷう spring breezeく blowまかせて entrust (to)謙遜けんそん modesty; humility feelingひょうして express; show; demonstrate主人しゅじん masterう sayかたい hard; solidたたみ tatami (mat)我慢がまんして practice patience; persevereかもれない it may be that ...早晩そうばん sooner or later; in time所有しょゆうすべき should take possession of挨拶あいさつもなく with no exchange of wordsだれ who人間にんげん human being; personゆずる yield to; defer toこと situation; circumstance; caseしからん outrageous; inexcusable passenger; rider; occupier一段いちだんと that much more; all the more不愉快ふゆかい displeasure; discontentかんぜしめる cause to feel; stir within one第二だいにの second最後さいごに finally態度たいど attitude; demeanorしゃくさわる grate on one's nerves; be cause for annoyanceすこしは a little bit; to some degreeどくそう showing some pity; expressing some compassion権利けんり right; privilege傲然ごうぜんと arrogantly; haughtilyかまえて position oneselfまるい round無愛嬌ぶあいきょうな unaffectionate; unfriendly eyesぱちつかせて blink periodically御前おまえ youかお faceつめて gaze at破壊はかいする destroy; disrupt第三だいさんの third不平ふへい dissatisfaction; annoyance頸根くびねっこ scruff of the neckとらえて seize; grab hold ofきずりおろしたら pull down from; drag off ofさそう should ...堂々どうどうたる imposing; grand; impressiveおそれて be afraid of; fear手出てだし taking action; engaging withろう be (the case)はやく soon; directly; without delay処分しょぶんして deal with; handleらさない not give expression to; not ventまったく utterly; completely一個いっこ one (individual)自己じこの one's own体面たいめん dignity; honor; prestige維持いじする maintain; preserve自重心じちょうしん sense of self-respectゆえ reason; circumstanceさっせらるる can be presumed that ... (= さっせられる)腕力わんりょく physical strengthうったえた appealed to; resorted to三尺さんしゃく 3 shaku (about 90 cm; about 3 ft)童子どうじ child; boy自由じゆうに freely; at will上下じょうげる can move up and down; is capable of hefting aboutおもんずる esteem; prize; valueてん point; perspectiveかんがえる consider; think about; regard金田かねだ Kaneda (name)股肱ここうたる serve as (someone's) right-hand man鈴木すずき藤十郎とうじゅうろう Suzuki Tōjūrō (name)そのひと the person in question; the man himself二尺にしゃく四方しほう 2 shaku square (about 60 cm square; about 2 feet square)真中まんなか middle; center鎮座ちんざまします is enshrinedねこだい明神みょうじん great and hallowed cat; divine feline如何いかんとも (not) in any wayすること出来できぬ can't do; can't act onていぬ is not looking (= ていない)場所ばしょ place; scene座席ざせき seatあらそい rivalry; contest; dispute威厳いげん dignity; gravityかんする affect; impact; weigh on真面目まじめに seriously; in earnest相手あいて opponent; rival曲直きょくちょく right or wrong大人気おとなげない unbecoming of a grown man; childish滑稽こっけい humorous; comical; laughable不名誉ふめいよ  dishonor; disgraceける avoid多少たしょうの some degree of不便ふべん inconvenience; annoyance; agitationしのばねばならぬ have to put up withたいする with respect to; vis-à-vis憎悪ぞうお dislike; loathing; hatredねん thoughts; notionす grow; increase; multiplyわけ situation; circumstance時々ときどき from time to timeにがかお sour face拝見はいけんする see; look at面白おもしろい amusing; enjoyableおさえて hold in check; suppressなにわぬ indifferent; cool; composed