I am a Cat (Chapter 7 a) Section 215 Study Guide

Practice text with full furigana

ねこならこのくらいやればたしかにこたえるのだが生憎あいにく相手あいてからすだ。からす勘公かんこうとあって見ればいたかたがない実業家じつぎょうか主人しゅじん苦沙弥くしゃみ先生せんせい圧倒あっとうしようあせるごとく、西行さいぎょう銀製ぎんせい吾輩わがはい進呈しんていするがごとく、西郷さいごう隆盛たかもりくん銅像どうぞうに勘公がふんひるようなものである。るにびんなる吾輩はとうてい駄目だめったから、奇麗きれいさっぱりと椽側えんがわげた。もう晩飯ばんめし時刻じこくだ。運動うんどうもいいがごすかぬもので、からだ全体ぜんたいなんとなくしまりがないぐたぐたかんがある。のみならずまだあき運動中うんどうちゅうけられたごろもは、西日にしびおも存分ぞんぶん吸収きゅうしゅうしたと見えて、ほてってたまらない。毛穴けあなからあせが、ながれればと思うのにあぶらのようにねばり背中せなかむずむずする。汗でむずむずするのとのみってむずむずするのは判然はんぜん区別くべつ出来できくちとどところならこと出来できあしたっする領分りょうぶん事も心得こころえにあるが、脊髄せきずいたてかよ真中まんなかたら自分じぶんおよかぎりでない。こうときには人間にんげん見懸みかけて矢鱈やたらこすりけるか、まつかわ充分じゅうぶん摩擦術まさつじゅつおこなか、二者にしゃそのひとつえらばんと不愉快ふゆかい安眠あんみん出来兼できかねる。人間はものであるから、猫なでごえで――猫なで声は人間の吾輩たいしてこえだ。吾輩を目安めやすにしてかんがえれば猫なで声ではない、なでられ声である――よろしい、とにかく人間は愚なものであるからでられごえひざそばってと、大抵たいてい場合ばあいにおいてかれもしくは彼女かのじょあいするものと誤解ごかいして、わがままにまかせるのみか折々おりおりあたまさえでてくれるものだ。しかるに近来きんらい吾輩の毛中もうちゅうにのみとごうする一種いっしゅ寄生虫きせいちゅう繁殖はんしょくしたので滅多めったと、かなら頸筋くびすじってむこほうされるわずかにか入らぬか、るにもらぬむしのために愛想あいそをつかしたと見える。ひるがえせばあめくつがえせばくもとはこの事だ。たかがのみの千疋せんびき二千疋にせんびきでよくまあこんなに現金げんきん真似まねが出来たものだ。

Rough translation

My efforts would certainly not have been lost on fellow cats, but the other party, regrettably, were crows. With a gaggle of old crows, what can one expect? Like the industrialist going to great lengths to try to intimidate master Kushami, like the silver cat presented to the poet Saigyō, or like these old crows themselves who target the bronze likeness of Saigō Takamori with their droppings, the impact is nil. Quickly grasping my changed circumstances and the futility of further engagement, I cleanly and neatly withdrew to the veranda. It was time for dinner. Exercise is well and good, but one mustn't overdo it. I was sapped, and my limbs felt like lead. Furthermore, my fur, in the course of my exertion, had soaked up the rays of autumn's afternoon sun, and the lingering warmth was oppressive. The sweat which oozed from my pores, finding nowhere to flow, clung like oil to the base of my fur. My back felt itchy. The itchiness of clinging sweat is clearly distinct from the itchiness of milling fleas. If I could get my mouth back there I'd nip and bite, and if I could get my feet back there I'd scratch just so, but the length of my spine is beyond my reach. In situations like these, one finds the nearest human and cosies up for a rub. Either that or its back-and-forth against pine bark. Without doing one or the other, a comfortable sleep is out of the question. Human beings are a foolish lot, with indulgent pet voices -- An indulgent voice is the voice humans use vis-à-vis a cat. From my cat perspective, I should rather call it, perhaps, an indulging voice. -- Be that as it may. At any rate, human beings are a foolish lot and prone to misunderstanding. When I respond to a human being's indulging voice and cuddle up against his or her lap, it's interpreted, for the most part, as expression of fondness. Not only do they let me have my way, but at times they even assist, rubbing my ears and neck. That being said, a certain species of parasite they refer to as fleas has proliferated, of late, through my fur. Without fail now, my approaches are thwarted. I'm seized by the scruff of the neck and flung away. On account of these insects, barely visible to the eye and hardly worth the trouble to extract, I'm no longer loved. How fickle is human affection. Since when do a thousand fleas, make it two thousand even, warrant such mercenary reaction?

Vocabulary

ねこ catこたえる strike home; have an impact生憎あいにく unfortunately; regrettably相手あいて the other partyからす crow; ravenからす勘公かんこう old crowsいたかたがない can't be helped実業家じつぎょうか businessman; industrialist主人しゅじん master苦沙弥くしゃみ Kushami (the master's name)先生せんせい teacher; professor; scholar圧倒あっとうしよう intimidate; browbeat; tyrannizeあせる be in a tizzy; be over-agitated (in doing something)西行さいぎょう Saigyō (Saigyō Hōshi; born Satō Norikiyo; poet of the late Heian and early Kamakura period; 1118–1190)銀製ぎんせい made of silver; crafted of silver吾輩わがはい I; me; myself進呈しんていする present (a gift)西郷さいごう隆盛たかもり Saigō Takamori (influential samurai and leading figure in the Meiji Restoration; 1828–1877)くん (suffix of familiarity for males)銅像どうぞう bronze statueふん (bird) droppingsひる expel; excreteるにびんなる quick to seize an opportunity駄目だめ no good; pointless; of no useった perceived; grasped (a situation) 奇麗きれいさっぱりと cleanly and neatly椽側えんがわ verandaげた withdrew; retreated (to)晩飯ばんめし evening meal; dinner時刻じこく hour; time運動うんどう exercise; physical training extend; limitごす overdoかぬ is of no use; won't doもの thing全体ぜんたい whole; entiretyなんとなく somehow; in some senseしまりがない be loose; be slack; feel limpぐたぐた exhausted; tired; worn outかん feeling; sensationあき autumn; fallき grasp; hold; clutches運動中うんどうちゅうに while exercisingけられた exposed to the lightごろも coat of fur西日にしび late afternoon sun; evening sunおも存分ぞんぶん as much as one likes吸収きゅうしゅうした absorbed; soaked upほてって feel hot; flush; burn毛穴けあな poresす seep forthあせ sweatながれれば flow; stream fur root; baseあぶら tallow; greaseねばりく stick to; cling to背中せなか back (of one's body)むずむずする feel itchyのみ fleasって crawl; creep判然はんぜんと clearly; distinctly区別くべつ出来できる can discern; can differentiateくち mouthとどく reachところ place; locationむ bite; bite atこと出来できる is possible to ...あし feetたっする reach; get to領分りょうぶん area; regionく scratch心得こころえにある know how to; am prepared to脊髄せきずい spinal cordたて front-to-back; lengthwiseかよう travel; run between; traverse真中まんなか middle; centerたら when it comes to ...自分じぶん oenselfおよぶ be within reach; extend toかぎり limits; rangeこうう this kind of ...; such a ...とき time; occasion人間にんげん a human being; a person見懸みかけて happen upon; catch sight of矢鱈やたらに randomly; indiscriminatelyこすりける rub up againstまつ pine treeかわ (tree) bark充分じゅうぶん adequately; sufficiently摩擦術まさつじゅつ expert kneading; masterful rubbingおこなう perform; conduct; carry out二者にしゃそのひとつ one of the two; one or the otherえらばんと unless one chooses不愉快ふゆかい unpleasant; displeasing; uncomfortable安眠あんみん restful sleep出来兼できかねる can't manageな silly; foolish; stupidなでごえ indulgent voiceたいして with respect to; vis-à-visす put forthこえ voice目安めやす point of referenceかんがえれば consider; think aboutでられごえ being-indulged voiceひざ lapそば near to; next toってく draw close; approach大抵たいてい generally; for the most part場合ばあい case; situationかれ he; him彼女かのじょ she; herあいする love; feel affection toward誤解ごかいして misunderstand; mistakenly interpretす do; performまかせる leave to; entrust to折々おりおり from time to time; on occasionあたま headでて stroke; caress; rubしかるに however; then again; on the other hand近来きんらい recently; of late毛中もうちゅう within one's furごうする be called; be referred to (as)一種いっしゅの a certain kind of寄生虫きせいちゅう parasite繁殖はんしょくした increased its numbers; propogated滅多めったに on occasionう nestle close to; snuggle up toかならず invariably; without fail頸筋くびすじ back of the neck; scruff of the neckって hold; graspむこう beyond; yonder; away fromほうされる be tossed; be flungわずかに only; barely; narrowlyる come into sight; be visibleるにもらぬ not worth removingむし insect愛想あいそをつかした fall out of love; lose affection forひるがえせばあめくつがえせばくも weather turns with the wave of a hand (i.e. affections are fickle)たか quantity; volume; number千疋せんびき one thousand (creatures)二千疋にせんびき two thousand (creatures)現金げんきんな mercenary; self-interested真似まね behavior; action; conduct