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.