This interview series seeks to introduce fellows, students – and now animals – of Tembusu College to the wider community on a more personal level, and to create a continuous interaction and petting-action between these groups of people. Misty, the pet of Master of the College Assoc Prof Gregory Clancey and one of the furriest residents of the college, gives an exclusive insider’s look at the wisdom of a cat’s nine lives, and how he toes the fine line between cuddly and aloof from his home on the third floor.
What are your dreams in life?
Oh, young Homo sapiens, my wonderful naive rays of sunshine, dreams are for the sleepers. I may look like I nap a good part of my life away, but, my dear savoury blueberry muffins, I have nine lives and I have lived through everything; things that have been and those that are yet to come. Les choses que j’ai vues.
My dreams of late… Sometimes I wish I am able to nurse all my fellow whisker friends and run a cartel…. *long pause*… a catel if you will. We will abide by no mortal rules. There will be no divine to tame us.
What is your favourite meal, Misty?
Ah, I love to feast on deconstructed whitefish fillet harvested from the Mediterranean oceans then processed by ancient technology into soft premium chunks, soaked in silky whole shrimp sauce handmade by Italian old housewives under the blazing summer heat in their tiny and cute rustic kitchens, then sealed in artisanal casings of metal forged under the heat in furnaces maintained by old willow wood. Bone apple tea! They come with these labels featuring fashionable fellow life aspiring Felis silvestris catus idols.
What would you change about Tembusu, Misty?
Aeons ago, I was birthed under the full moon and was destined to become the great leader of the rebellion during my time in this domain. My journey brought me through arduous times and, my dear furless babies who think Crocs are a good idea, how I once ached to have a healing place like Tembusu to rest my old bones. Perhaps it is the waves of hardship that crushed against my once weak bones before aging me beyond my years. Perhaps it is my experience of pain that built an armour around me.
My dear spitting image child with opposable thumbs, is it too much for me to request that the place I roam not become a cat café? Can we not just admire my beauty, sculpted by time, from a comfortable distance healthy for both of us? You there with the Asian Baby Face™ pointing your camera so close to my whiskers, step behind… Ah, but can I really blame you, my fellow disciple, who prays that by touching me, some part of my aura would rub onto you?
Maybe I have more to learn about humility from you, my lanky child. Fine, I yield. Just this once you can caress my soft comforting fur that brings you back to carefree schooldays where the Milo van showed up during Sports Day and where PE teachers let you play basketball instead of running 2.4 and you coexisted with everyone in minimal participation.
Misty, I’m sure you know that you’re one of the most photographed icons in Tembusu. How do you feel about your celebrity status?
Young millennials just want me for the ‘gram. Oh, whatever happened to impressionism?
Pictures by Jarratt Ong