Kittens have claws...

…and other discoveries. [Updated (again)]

Finally reached the scene in book 7 where Kio and Aoi discover that Chaika has three kids.

It begins with Kio, Eris, and Aoi walking through the Catian ship. They’ve just dropped 6-chan off at an assistoroid maintenance depot (long story), and are looking out over a park, when out of nowhere, a cobalt-blue-haired three-year-old catgirl comes zipping out of the park and runs into Kio. She falls down and starts crying, and as they’re calming her down, her teacher catches up. She’s about to lead the girl back to her pre-school group, when little Raama notices that Kio and Aoi don’t have cat ears or tails.

She’s fascinated, and attaches herself to Kio so firmly that they have to accompany her back to the school, where the other children are still in the middle of their nap. In baskets, four or five kittens per. As soon as Raama is back in the basket she snuck out of, she falls asleep, and Kio and the gang are led to another room where the grateful teachers serve them tea. To Kio’s surprise, one of the teachers is the first male Catian he’s seen, who mentions that there are thirty females for every male. Also, Aoi notices something odd in the school, and Eris confirms that they’re scratching posts; until age 4-5, little Catians have claws.

They have a pleasant chat with the teachers, and miss their chance to escape before all of the kids wake up. Naturally, they all respond the same way Raama did, swarming Kio and Aoi, even flipping up Aoi’s skirt to confirm her lack of a tail. They’re rescued when Eris, the teachers, and the assistoroids roll in balls of yarn for them to play with.

After their escape, they hang around the park for a while, and see the kids being led home by assistoroids, with only a few parents able to get away from work to pick them up in person. Kio is surprised by how young the parents look, and asks if all Catians marry so young. Eris explains that usually they settle down and start raising kids around age 40-50, and then realizes she’s never told him that their lifespan is 200-300.

Then Chaika shows up, and (re)introduces Raama as her youngest. Even Eris is surprised.

Other notable moments:

  • Eris' girlfriend Seshimi is working at the repair depot, and as they greet each other with a big hug, their tails entwine.
  • There are currently ~30,000 Catians on the ship; it's standing-room-only, almost, as additional staff are preparing for the second stage of relations with Earth.
  • Eris says the ship normally has 20,000, which conflicts with the 3,000 claimed in book 2.
  • I'll have to go back and check, but I don't think the ship was originally 10 kilometers in diameter. It was always a classic flying saucer shape, but I think the author must have forgotten that he originally had it park in the air above Naha...
  • The total number on board is around 1.5 million, but the vast majority are in cold sleep (冷凍睡眠状態にして), stored in imaginary space (虚数空間に格納して).
  • Kuune mentions the crowding when Eris asks where Kio and Aoi will be staying for this short visit, and ever-so-casually announces that they'll be sharing Eris' room, of course.
  • The official excuse for the trip is for Kio to get a genetic checkup to make sure he's back to normal, and for Aoi to give a lecture on Earth weapons and combat. Unofficially, Kuune is also trying to move things along in the romance department.
  • So far, the most significant thing that Jens has done this book is take out the trash. This is not a euphemism.
  • Little sister Ryunnu still doesn't know that Jens is on Earth, and is out exploring Tokyo. No mention of Nirumea, or any hint of impending doom.
  • Kuune isn't the only one pushing things; Eris' parents just shuttled in from 300 light-years out, and are looking forward to interviewing their daughter's bride (嫁御殿) and groom (婿殿), before Eris finds out they're on the ship...
  • Dad is tall, blonde, and slender, Mom is a short, voluptuous redhead. He's a computer systems engineer, she's an archaeologist. (I originally had him as a geneticist, due to an error in the transcription. The printed book has denshi, which somehow ended up as idenshi in the unofficial ebook; I just found updated versions of several of the books, which I'll need to download at some point)
  • Okay, the big threat this book is the ship overheating due to a small accident in the assistoroid maintenance depot (not involving 6-chan), leading all the catgirls to convert their skinsuits into string-bikini mode. Poor Kio is having enough trouble finding a safe place to look with Eris and Seshimi around, but when he gets a look at Kuune...
  • A slightly-jealous Aoi, who isn't really having a problem with the heat yet, uses her emergency suit for the sole purpose of putting it into string-bikini mode.
  • Alone among the bridge crew, Melwin insists on keeping her suit in its normal configuration, stoically ignoring the heat.
  • When they finally get things back under control, she's found babbling recipes for cold noodles and shaved ice, and how they could be used to cool down the bridge, leading Doctor Dyureru to shout, "Get a stretcher! Mel's broken!".
  • (rather loosely)
    Eris: "Mom!! Did you actually read my letter?! I meant isosceles triangle, not equilateral!"
    Mom (re-reading letter): "Oh, dear, have I done it again?"
    Dad: "Well, you cant blame her; there was that time at school..."
    Eris: "Not helping!"