I try again with my very best mews. These are first-rate, if I do say so myself, tinged with tragic resolve and evoking the image of a lonely wanderer too long in distant lands. Osan, fully unmoved, again pays no heed. It may be this woman is deaf. A deaf woman could hardly function as a maidservant, so it may be the case she's selectively deaf to cats. There's such a thing in this world as colorblindness. Those afflicted believe they are seeing just fine, but any doctor would declare their eyes deficient. Osan is seemingly mew blind and thus deficient, which makes her arrogance all the more offensive. In the night, when I've pressing business and make it known I need to go out, she never opens the door. When on rare occasions I do make it out, she doesn't let me back in. Summer dew is bad for my coat, and autumn frost even more so. Until one's passed a night under the eaves, on one's feet awaiting the dawn, one can't imagine the hardship. The other day, unfortunate enough to find myself shut outside again, I was accosted by a stray dog. Just as I thought I was done for, I managed to somehow clamber onto the roof of the shed, where I spent the rest of the night trembling. All of these misfortunes were direct consequences of Osan's inhumanity. Mewing up to such a creature, one can hardly expect any sympathy. All the same, it's a well known fact that hunger drives one to prayer, poverty drives one to theft, and a lonely heart drives one to pen prose. Yours truly is no exception. After three tries with my best mew, I up my game even more, emitting an exquisite servies of cries. The result, I'm firmly convinced, is nothing less impressive than any of Beethoven's symphonies, yet Osan remains unmoved. She drops to her knees, lifts and removes a loose floorboard, and pulls out a new stick of charcoal. She takes the stick of charcoal and taps it against the corner of the brazier, breaking it into three shorter pieces, blackening the vicinity with charcoal dust in the process. Some of the dust seems to land in the pot, but Osan's not the kind of woman to concern herself with such trifles. Her focus is on the fire as she pushes her new sticks of charcoal under the bottom edge of the pot. She's not about to lend an ear to my symphony. Defeated and dejected, I start back toward the living room. As I pass the bathing room, it's abuzz with activity. The three daughters are busily washing their faces.