Saturday 13 October 2012

The Thing Cat

I am in a quaint neighbourhood, the sort with low housing and 50s architecture. It's a little cul de sac and the neighbours are shop owners and apartment dwellers. There's an air of emptiness not unlike that of a movie set where few people walk by.

In view is a long apartment unit with a roundish end. A corridor runs the lenghth of the entire second level (not unlike HDB design). I am in a shop unit below. The proprietors seem to be dealing in hardware stuff. I am inside and talking to a lady, someone I recognise from my past. She used to sell weapons and was the only woman I ever knew who did that.

She is asking me to fix a remote trigger transmitter, the countless types we see in the movies: a small little black box with flip switch, a flashing red light and a retractable antenna at the end. Only in this case, the light is LED yellow-green and obviously wonky. It is sometimes on, sometimes off.

A cafe is next door and this friend and I decide to have cuppa. We order and sit back to relax. I look out a window, at the neighbourhood around. I seem to like the place a lot. It's middle class, lush with leafy, multi-coloured autumn trees and the folks are friendly. A young man and a woman dresed in '50s tennis gear walk by, making the scene even more reminiscent of a bygone era.

The cafe is almost full, with folks animated in conversation. I have an egg tart and a char siew so (a pastry filled with char siew meat).

After our coffees, we leave. A white cat is lying on a small round side table by the door, looking sleepy and content.

There is news, something about a war and unrest. We head to a hall, which is dim and showing a newsreel. At the end, folks in viewing balconies emerge and demands more freedom for the press. I suspect, like me, they are journalists. It gets rather vocal, with the wife of the prime minister joining in. For added emphasis, she grabs a gun (which looks like a Mauser C96) from her bodyguard and fires into the air. Three shots in rapid succession.

"Aye, aye, aye," she shouts and looks down on us below, her eyes smiling and yet a little wild. Is she serious or just joining a popular cause?

My friend and I look at each other unbelieving. That the prime minister's wife herself would call for greater press freedom.

After this, we head back to the cafe to discuss the issue some more. As I leave the second time round, I say hello to the cat and playfully pulls at its paw. It and everything else of the cat slips apart! Her arm, her torso, her head... as easy as some well-cooked bak kut teh meat on a bone. The heads drops clean off with no gash and no blood. It's was all rather odd. I remember thinking if there has to be some significance to this macabre incident. (There is. Before this dream a few nights ago, I was watching The Thing (2012). A scene in there is quite similar.)

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