Kucing Gatal Speaks

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tahniah kepada juara haiku!

Tahniah diucapkan kepada pemenang pertandingan "Merdeka Haiku" - Hedonistics Anonymous!!

Tepukan gemuruh bagi si pemenang ... dan terima kasih kepada peserta-peserta yang lain dan juga para pengundi.

Selamat Hari Merdeka, sekalian!

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with an independent Meow.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Pet peeve: queue jumping

I hate queue jumpers! Why can't Malaysians be patient and orderly? I especially hate those who try and barge their way in the minute the LRT doors open, just so they can lunge for the first available seat. Bloody kiasu idiots! Sometimes I wish they would fall underneath the train, that would serve them right.

I'm so pissed off cos it happens day in and day out. Although there are signs everywhere telling people where to wait and to give way to those disembarking, you find all sorts still rudely shoving their way through. All kinds of people - men and women in business suits, students, girls in tudungs, etc. On the surface they may look professional, but the minute the train arrives, the kiasuness takes hold and they step forward until their nose is practically touching the door.

Then the door opens and those trying to come out find themselves fighting against a wave of incoming passengers intent on hunting down empty seats. I really pity those unfortunate passengers who aren't able to get out because of these selfish idiots and have to get off at the next stop instead.

I wish the government would pass a law against queue jumpers and impose mandatory jail sentences for them. And if they try their queue cutting ways in jail, they'll get bashed up by hardened criminals until they're cured of this nasty habit.That would be sweet justice indeed. Malaysians better thank their lucky stars I'm not the PM ...

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with an irate Meow.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Merdeka Haiku Contest Finalists Selected!

Thanks to all who submitted their creative haikus for the Merdeka Haiku contest. Unfortunately some had to be disqualified for not sticking to the 17-syllable limit -BawangMerah & JustinKCYap, next time count properly :P

Some weren't really about Malaysia and so couldn't really qualify. And some did not stick to the one haiku per person rule, but since this is the first contest I will bend the rules a little and pick just one out of your multiple entries. But only this time!

I've picked the three finalists, and here they are in random order:

(1) On Merdeka Day
I run naked at Padang
Agong chasing me
- by Hedonistics Anonymous

(2) Always the mamak,
Where all the races gather,
- by Xaph

(3) Come sing AP Birthday,
On Merdeka Day,
Flag up and shout hooray!
- by S-kay

It wasn't easy picking these three, but after a lot of thought, I decided that these were reflective of life in Malaysia although really, the first one isn't. But it's quite funny (IMHO) so I included it. It's MY contest so there! To those who didn't make the finals, don't lose heart. I enjoyed reading all your haikus, and who knows, I might just run another haiku contest in the near future, so keep practising!

Now I'm leaving it to you guys to select the winning haiku. Please vote for your favourite and remember, one person, one vote, and no voting for your own haiku. To reduce the likelihood of cheating, anonymous votes will not be counted, so please include a nick and a link to your blog, or a valid email address when you vote.

You can vote from now until 11.59pm (Malaysian time, GMT+8) on Tuesday, 30 August 2005.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a 17-syllable Meow.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Merdeka Haiku Contest - Last call for entries!

Only a few more hours till the deadline, submit your haiku now!

By the way I have to activate my anti-spam filter as I'm "enjoying" a sudden surge of blog spam. So when you submit your comment you'll have an extra step to complete. Nothing too complicated, so don't worry.

Short post today, super busy this week!

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a death-to-spammers Meow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Search and you shall find

I like analysing the stats for my blog. I'm especially interested in the keywords people use to find my blog. The usual keywords include kucing and gatal (I am number 1 in the MSN Search results for the latter), but occasionally you get search requests like shaved men, slutty businesswomen, platonic friendship and blog lucah.

Last night, along with some quirky ones like "malaysia fake clothes" and "kaki sex", I found these two gems:
(1) How to be hygienically prepared for a lesbian sexual encounter
Some person from the USA used Google to search for this. I wonder whether my blog was of any help... I guess maybe the shaved post would be the closest thing.

(2) Bendover 7 porn
Someone from Belfast, Ireland searched for this using MSN. I was number 1 out of 888 results. I'm so proud ...

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a quirky Meow.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

De Bastard: Finale

I didn't get much sleep that night, or the next few nights. J called a few times, but he never mentioned DB and I didn't bring up the topic. I pretended that everything was normal.

I didn't hear from DB for 3 days. Finally I couldn't stand it any longer and SMSed him. "Hi, how are you ... wanna go for lunch?"

He didn't reply until about half an hour later. "Sorry, already got plans. Hope you're well."

I realised he was going to pretend nothing had happened between us. Had he just wanted to use me, and since I didn't sleep with him, he was mad at me? Or did he really care about me and J and didn't want to break up our relationship? Or was he just playing some mind game with me?

Fine, I thought. Two can play at this game. And so I ignored DB too although he was constantly in my thoughts and dreams. I decided that J was a far better man, and that I was much better off with him.

The day before J was due home, DB called. "Hi Kucing, how are you?" he asked cheerfully.


"I'm in the neighbourhood and wondered if you wanted to grab a coffee," he said.

I hated myself for being weak. I hated the fact that my heart was racing just at hearing his voice. I hated the fact that I said "Sure!" without even a second thought.

Half an hour later we were seated at one of my favourite cafes. The conversation was lighthearted. No mention of that night, no mention of our feelings for each other.

But I had to get it out of my system and so broached the topic tentatively. "Listen, about that night .... what's going to happen next?" I asked him.

DB was quiet for a while, and looked away. I wondered if he had even heard me.

"I think it's best we don't talk about it again. I respected your decision that night, and like I said, I don't want to come between you and J. Don't worry about my feelings, I will make sure nothing like that happens again," he finally said.

My mind was in turmoil. We had already crossed the line, and now DB was backing off? But he had specifically said he had feelings for me. How could he dismiss them just like that?

"Because he's a man ... and a buaya to boot," a little voice inside me said. Men aren't as complex as women. They don't experience a myriad of emotions over one incident the way we do. And now I was discovering DB's true colours.

"By the way, I have a date tonight," he mentioned casually.

I blinked. Concentrated on stirring my coffee. "That's nice," I finally said.

"Ya, I met her a few days ago at a nightclub. She's really hot," he grinned.

"Lucky you," I managed to say civilly. What I really wanted to do was pour my hot coffee down his pants and stalk off. "J's coming home tomorrow, I can't wait," I said.

"Gonna give him a sizzling welcome home, I bet," DB said, still grinning.

"Yep, of course, I always do," I said, avoiding his gaze.

Silence stretched between us. Finally I gulped down what was left of my coffee and told him it was time to go.

He dropped me straight back home, and I was alone with my thoughts once more. I could think of nothing else except how I had made a fool of myself with him, but thankful we hadn't gone beyond kissing. Finally all my pent-up emotions came rushing to the surface and I wept. Self-pity, self-loathing, hatred for DB, love for J, longing for DB, anger at my weakness, guilt for what I had done, it was all too much for me.

I cried until I had no tears left. Then I called M, and poured out the whole story. Instead of scolding me as I had expected, she was gentle and sympathetic. "See Kucing, I told you that feller is a buaya. The only thing you can do now is avoid him completely. And don't tell J anything," she advised.

"How can I not tell J? I don't want to be unfair to him. And if he's done something behind my back I'd want to know too," I argued.

"What good can come out of telling him? He'll dump you, Kucing. Is that what you want?"

"No," I said, and my voice started to quiver. I was about to burst into tears again. "I'll call you later," I told M hastily and hung up. Another wave of emotions washed over me, this time all involving J. Dear sweet J who had suspected something yet trusted me. Dear loving J who was steadfastly loyal to me and expected the same of me. Dear darling J who didn't deserve a person like me.

I decided to tell him the truth.

And I did, a couple of days later. He was justifiably upset and said he needed time to think things through. I won't go into the details, but a week later we broke up.

I understood why. J needed someone who was emotionally loyal to him - even if she had strayed physically but loved only him, he would have forgiven her. But in my case I had fallen for DB. It was this emotional attachment to DB that J couldn't handle. I wasn't as devastated as I'd thought I would be. In fact, J and I remain friends and occasionally meet up. He harbours no grudge against me, and is now engaged to a lovely lady.

As for DB, we seldom saw each other after that. Whenever we met, that familiar spark returned and I fell for him all over again. Each time I vowed not to meet him again, I ended up going against my better judgment and put myself through the cycle of emotional pain again.

One night we met in a nightclub. He was obviously intoxicated and was making out with a girl right next to me. Then he turned to me and asked me to dance. I said no. He started dancing with the girl instead. Finally they got tired and came back to our table. He sat right next to me and put his arm around me. "Kucing, don't be so proud, come dance with me," he slurred. "No," I repeated firmly. He decided that no meant yes and dragged me by the hand to a corner where he put his arms around me and rested his head on my shoulder. "That's it Kucing, just dance with me for a little while," he whispered into my ear. Then he started nuzzling my ear. I pushed him away but he held me tighter. "C'mon Kucing, aren't you enjoying this?" he asked. "What's wrong, why are you pushing me away?"

"You KNOW damn well why," I said angrily. It was the last straw. I would not allow him to play with my emotions any longer. "I know," DB said, unexpectedly gently. His eyes softened as they looked into mine. "I'm sorry Kucing," he said.

I pushed him away and made my way back to the table. I started talking to another friend and ignored DB completely, who had gone back to making out with the girl. Anger coursed through me. Anger at my own stupidity for having fallen for a bastard who obviously never had any intention of being in a relationship. A player through and through.

Since that day, I've managed to look at DB as just an acquaintance and nothing more. I've accepted the fact that I made a mistake, and won't allow it to repeat itself. Throughout it all, M has been very supportive, putting up with my miserable moods and listening to me rant and rave about DB. I'm truly grateful to have a friend like her - she helped to put me back on the right path, and I vow not to stray from it again.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a wiser Meow.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Merdeka Haiku Contest

How quickly the year has flown by, once again the spirit of Merdeka is in the air. Patriotism is well and truly alive ... well, at least for this month ;)

I want to do something to celebrate our independence day, involving the readers of this blog. I thought of another guessing game, but in the end decided to put your creativity to the test.

And so, I hereby launch The Merdeka Haiku Contest. All you have to do is submit (via Comments) an original patriotic haiku. It can be about anything, as long as it's about Malaysia - doesn't have to mention Merdeka specifically. So if you want to focus on how much you love cempedak, or how much you admire Rafidah Aziz, go for it.

The winner will be chosen in a partially-democratic way. I will choose 3 finalists, and then let the readers of the blog vote for the winner. No cheating! You cannot vote for yourself, and please don't create new/anonymous identities to submit multiple votes for yourself/your favourite. Please be fair to the others.

The rules are simple:
(1) All haikus must be in English.
(2) All haikus must be about Malaysia.
(3) You can only submit one haiku.
(4) Closing date for submissions is Thursday, 25 August 2005.
(5) Results are final and binding. No protests will be entertained.

If you're wondering what the prize is, well, there isn't one. But surely having your haiku win and be published on my blog is reward enough ;)

For those who don't know, a haiku is traditional Japanese poetry that contains 17 syllables. The most common version has 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line and 5 in the last line.


Flags flapping gently
Merdeka wind is blowing
Freedom is savoured
© http://kucinggatal.blogspot.com

Now, get cracking!

I've got the Jalur Gemilang song stuck in my head now! Jalur Gemilang, di bawah naunganmu... I don't know most of the words but I just like to hum along...

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a patriotic Meow.

Friday, August 19, 2005

De Bastard: Part 4

If J suspected anything, he didn't mention it. He behaved exactly the same as before, loving and sweet. We went out a few times with M, and on a few occasions, De Bastard turned up as well.

It was a bit awkward for me, but J seemed to be at ease and got along well with him. M would shoot me some sharp looks every now and then if she caught me gazing at De Bastard. I would be holding J's hand, yet wonder what it would be like if I was holding DB's instead. DB would sometimes make statements that made me wince inwardly, like "J, you're so lucky to have Kucing" and "If I was with Kucing, I'd take her to ...." and so on. J didn't seem to mind and would even agree with DB. But as far as possible, I tried to keep them apart. I'd arrange meetings with M when I knew DB wouldn't be around. I was determined to maintain my relationship with J and not let DB conquer my heart.

I failed miserably, on both counts.

About a month later, J was sent overseas again for another 2 weeks. When we got to the airport, my heart nearly stopped when he turned to me and said, "Kucing, I'm not blind, I can see that you're attracted to DB."

I stared at him, lost for words.

"But it's only natural, he's a handsome devil after all," he smiled. I wondered how J could actually stand there and smile at me, knowing that his girl was attracted to someone else. "I also know that he's attracted to you, it's pretty obvious in the way he looks at you and talks about you," he said.

My heart soared at this. DB liked me? Really? I had never told him how I felt, but had always wondered if he felt the same way. A moment later I came crashing back down to earth.

J looked straight into my eyes. His smile had disappeared. "Kucing, I don't know just how much you like this guy. You know I love you to bits, and I don't want to live without you. But if you really want to be with DB, please let me know. Don't do anything behind my back. I won't be able to take it if I find out from someone else," he said.

How I loved this guy. How many men would be calm in a situation like this? I wanted to reassure him, to tell him I loved him and only him, and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, but looking deep into his eyes, I couldn't say anything. Deep down inside, I knew it would be a lie. I sensed the hurt he felt by my silence, and hugged him tightly. "Have a good trip, J," I said weakly.

How had I fallen for DB so quickly? How had I been able to open my heart to two men? Could I give up my love for an almost perfect man, and choose to be with a bastard instead?

I had no answers to these questions.

Back home, I deleted all the SMSes from DB. I wanted to erase him from my life, but it was a futile attempt. A couple of hours later, he SMSed me, wanting to meet up. Without even thinking twice, I said OK.

We went for dinner, then caught a movie. It was a good movie, but I couldn't concentrate much as DB was sitting very close to me, his arm touching mine. Occasionally his knee would brush against mine. My whole body felt hot, and my mind was getting fuzzy. As the movie finally ended, DB stretched lazily and announced that he was hungry again. "Let's go for supper," he said. Eager to make the night stretch for as long as possible, I agreed.

We sat at the mamak's for the longest time. Long after our food and drinks were finished, we were still yakking it up. I was amazed at how much we had in common. We were laughing at something when a girl in a skimpy outfit walked past our table. DB's eyes darted towards her figure. I felt a sudden surge of jealousy and tried to dismiss it. But I couldn't shake off the feeling.

"You think she's hot?" I asked him, thankful that my voice wasn't quivering like my insides.

"Nah, she's ok," he said, bringing his attention back to me. "Actually I kind of like someone else anyway," he said, smiling at me. Zing zing zing, my heart went.

"Really? Anyone I know?" I asked casually.

"Oh ya, you know her very well."

"Hmm, is it M?"


"Err, I have no idea who it is. Tell me," I demanded.

"Can't you guess, Kucing?" he teased.

"I don't know lah ...."

DB was silent for a while.

"When the time is right, I'll tell you who it is," he said. The dimples flashed in and out as he smiled, his eyes twinkling.

Stupid jantan, I thought. Tormenting me like this. "Stop being perasan!" a voice inside me scolded. "He's got a lot of women after him, and besides, you know he's been hanging out with other girls lately!"

I changed the subject to something safer. We continued talking for another half an hour, then DB yawned. "Sorry Kucing, I'm a bit tired. Shall we go?" he asked.

I was feeling sleepy by then as it was very late. "OK," I said and got up.

"Eh, is this your grandfather's stall? You think the meal is free?" DB laughed.

I sat down again, embarrassed that I'd totally forgotten about the bill. A few minutes later, after DB had paid (dismissing my offer to pay), we walked to his car.

"Eh Kucing, I forgot to tell you. I finally got new furniture for my place. I even got new curtains and everything," DB said suddenly.


"Ya, everything looks so much better now. Hey, why don't you come over and see? Maybe you can even suggest some more improvements," he said casually.

My mind started yo-yoing. I'd never been to DB's place before, and I knew it wasn't a good idea to go there alone, what more late at night. But another part of me was longing to be with him for as long as possible.

In the end, the foolish part of me won out.

As we stepped into his apartment, I looked around. It was very tastefully decorated. I suspected some ex-es of his had probably given him some of the stuff lying around, and possibly even decorated the place themselves.

"Very nice," I praised.

"Come see the sofa," he called out from the living room.

A cream coloured leather sofa took up most of the room. "Sit, sit," DB said, patting the seat next to his. "Comfortable or not?"

"Very," I said, as I sank into the chair.

DB got up. "Come see the kitchen," he said, and suddenly pulled me by my hand. I walked with him to the kitchen and looked around dutifully. "Very nice," I said, standing in the doorway.

DB was right behind me, I could feel his warm breath on my neck. I didn't dare turn around, and started babbling about how nice the cupboards were.

His hands rested on my shoulders. And without warning, he kissed the side of my neck.

My insides melted completely and my knees nearly buckled. I pulled away and turned to look at him. Wordlessly, he held my hand and brought me to the sofa where we sat side by side.

"Kucing, I think you know how I feel about you," he said earnestly. "But I also know that you're with J and that you guys are madly in love. He's a decent guy and I really don't want to come between the both of you."

He held my hand for the longest time, stroking it gently. The silence between us stretched into minutes. My throat had closed up and I couldn't say a word. He kept stroking my hand and gazing into my eyes. I looked down and admired his fingers, then intertwined his hand with mine.

"I like you a lot, Kucing, and I really wish I had met you before J did," he whispered. A part of my mind was screaming out at me, don't do this to J, get up and get out of there now! But my legs wouldn't obey. All I could do was sit there and look at DB.

He leaned towards me, and before I could register what was happening, he kissed me. Gently, softly, slowly. Pulling away, he said, "I've wanted to do that for ages." Then he kissed me gently again.

I kissed him back. We were lost in our own little world. Everything else had melted away.

"Stay the night," DB urged. That broke the spell. I pulled away and sat up straight. "I can't," I said.

"I don't want you to go, Kucing."

"I have to go. Can you please send me home now?"

DB looked dazed, then got up and picked up his car keys. "OK, let's go," he said.

I didn't look at him. Put on my shoes wordlessly, walked out of the apartment, walked to his car. Then my resolve weakened and I hugged him tightly. He kissed me again. "Don't go ..."

Something in me gave me the strength to do what was right. I let go of him and looked away. Giving up, he unlocked the doors and got in the car.

The silence in the car was heavy and tense. We both knew that we just wanted to be with each other, but knew it was wrong. Why is it that things are always sweeter and more exciting when they're forbidden?

We finally reached my place and I turned to say goodbye to him. No smile from him. He looked hurt. "DB, I really like you too, but I can't do this right now," I told him, wanting him to understand. He stroked my cheek, then leaned in and kissed me tenderly.

"I know," he said. "Have a good night."

"You too."

I got out of the car, and walked to my gate. Turned around to give him a wave but he was looking straight ahead, then he drove off.

I stood there for a while, trying to clear my senses, trying to come to terms with what had just happened.

I had crossed the line.

Only one more part to go, I promise!

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a soft Meow.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

De Bastard: Part 3

I should have been angry with De Bastard for flirting with me, but instead I was secretly thrilled that he was showering attention on me. I should have been angry since he knew I was in a stable relationship, but I couldn't bring myself to berate him. I should have dismissed his attentions, but I welcomed them instead. Stupid, stupid me.

De Bastard and I grew closer during the two weeks J was away. J called me every day as he had promised, and I still missed him terribly, but De Bastard had broken down my defenses and wormed his way into my heart. We met up every couple of days or so, sometimes without M. I was no longer immune to his charms, and even flirted with him whenever the opportunity arose.

At night, lying in bed, I would look at J's photo and be consumed with guilt. How quickly I had let De Bastard into my life, I thought. Here I was, madly in love with one guy, yet eager to be with another. Perhaps it was because J had been away so much lately, and I hadn't been getting the attention I craved, which was disastrous since I am an attention whore. But I chided myself for trying to blame J. I tried to blame De Bastard, but ultimately realised that there was no one else at fault except me. Although of course De Bastard was a bastard, there's no denying that. And he should have stayed away from me.

M suspected something was going on and confronted me. "Kucing, are you interested in De Bastard?" she asked bluntly. "No lah, of course not, how can you ask me that? By the way have you read today's papers? Did you read about that murder?" I babbled, eager to change the subject.

But M was having none of it. "I know you very well, and I know there's something going on. De Bastard told me that sometimes the two of you go out together. What's up, Kucing?"

I considered denying everything. But I knew M would continue suspecting something, so I decided to come clean. "OK, it's true. Whenever I meet De Bastard, something happens to me. I get quivery inside, and I like the way he flirts with me. But I swear nothing physical has happened," I told her.

"You stupid cow!" M shrieked. "How can you do this, Kucing?! I told you he is a buaya, you should stay away from him. I'm going to kill him," she ranted.

I winced. "M, don't tell him anything. He doesn't know how I feel, and besides, I'm with J, remember?"

"Of course I remember. Looks like you forgot!" she said. The words hit home hard. I knew she was right. I knew the best thing to do would be to avoid De Bastard completely. I knew I had to steel myself and do it.

But my heart was weak. It craved the attention. It craved the way other girls looked at me jealously as I walked around with De Bastard. It craved the way he would look at me from across the table and oh so casually brush his hand against mine as he passed me the menu, condiments, this and that.

When J called that night, and told me that he was thrilled to be flying home the next day, thrilled to be with me again, he sensed something was wrong. "Kucing, what's the matter? You sound depressed," he said.

"Nothing's wrong. I just miss you, that's all."

"Don't worry, sayang. Just a few more hours and we'll see each other again. Are you picking me up from the airport?"

"Of course!"

"OK. Well, get a good night's sleep. I'll be dreaming of us tonight," he said.

"Me too," I said, but to my ears, the words lacked sincerity. J didn't notice however. After he hung up, I lay awake for ages, my mind whirling. I loved J, I was sure of that. But, God forbid, had I fallen for De Bastard? Craving attention was one thing, falling for another man was totally different. And unacceptable.

That night, I dreamt of De Bastard. We were walking in a park, holding hands. It was a beautiful day, and I was happier than I'd been for a long time. Then a snake dropped out from a tree and coiled itself around me. I screamed and screamed but no sound came out of my mouth. De Bastard stood there laughing at me. I finally freed myself and ran out of the park, totally distressed. I couldn't remember any more of the dream when I woke up.

I turned on the radio and Gersang's Suratan Takdir was playing. How appropriate, I thought, as I heard the lyrics. "Tak terlintas di hati ini, untuk aku jatuh cinta lagi, tapi takdir yang menentukan...." "Tidak dapat ku terima, dua cinta di dalam hati, maafkanlah aku sayang..."*

De Bastard SMS-ed me a few minutes later. My heart leapt as I read it. "Good morning, rise and shine, I was just thinking of you. Wanna grab breakfast?"

Lousy good-for-nothing bastard, I thought grimly. I've already mentioned to you about 5 times that J comes home today and I have to get to the airport. "Going to airport to pick up J," I replied.

"Oh ya I forgot. Send him my regards ;)" he SMS-ed back.

I didn't bother replying. Instead, I got ready and drove to the airport. I had to stop my mind from thinking about De Bastard and focus on J completely. When I saw J pushing his trolley towards me, I was genuinely happy. Big smile on my face, big grin on his. Happy hugs followed by more smiles as we walked to the car. On the drive to J's home, my phone beeped. Another SMS.

J looked at my phone. "An SMS for you," he said, then proceeded to open and read the message - before De Bastard came into my life, we had nothing to hide from each other and freely allowed the other to read our SMSes. "Who's De Bastard? He wants to know whether I've arrived," J asked.

"Oh, he's just a friend," I replied casually. "I told him all about you."

"I see. Wow, so many messages from him," he said as he scrolled through the inbox.

"Ya, he has no life and he bugs both M and me all the while," I said, hoping he wouldn't read this morning's SMS.

J was quiet for a while. He was still reading, then he looked at me.

"I see you also sent him a lot of SMSes, huh," he said teasingly. My voice caught in my throat. I had no ready reply, so I just smiled.

"Anyway sayang, I got you a present. I'll show it to you later," he said. I was grateful for the change in subject, I didn't think I would be able to hide much if J had probed any further.

The final part is still in progress, I hope to be able to complete it over the weekend. I've shortened the story a lot so that it won't turn out to be a novel ... plus I know you guys are impatient to know the end.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a short Meow.

* Loosely translated:
It never crossed my mind that I would fall in love again, but fate decides...
I can't accept two loves in my heart, forgive me, my love ...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Rancangan Tergendala ... and Guessing Game #2

After completing the first two parts of the De Bastard story, I was all gung-ho about finishing it. But then life got in the way, with all its errands and appointments and whatnots, and suddenly I lost the plot. It's in my head but the words aren't flowing as well as they did before. I really need to do justice to this story otherwise the impact won't be there.

So I'm taking a short breather for now, and will work on the final part(s) today and tomorrow, and hopefully have it ready for your reading pleasure very soon.

In the meantime, I have another Guessing Game for you. This time the reward for the first correct answer is ... the opportunity to be a guest blogger on my blog for a day. Is that marvellous or what?

There is no skill involved in this one at all, just pure luck. Guess what the digits in my mobile number add up to (without the 01x prefix). To make it easier for you, the sum is between 10 and 50. The first person who guesses correctly wins.

Quickly, start guessing!

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a mathematical Meow.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

De Bastard: Part 2

A week after De Bastard sent me the dinner SMS, J's boss sent him overseas for training at the company's headquarters. "I'll be gone for two weeks, and I'm going to miss you terribly," he said. "I'll miss you too," I replied. The little devil in my mind started thinking about the lovely presents I was going to get when he came home. J wasn't rich, but whenever he travelled, he would shop around for a present for me. None of those tacky tourist gifts, but something far more thoughtful and precious. Like little brass statues that he knew would go well with my decor, or small unique rugs that you can't find in Malaysia. Nothing extravagant, but it showed how much he cared about me.

I sent him to the airport and we hugged each other tightly. For some reason, I didn't feel comfortable with his going away. "Don't worry Kucing, I'll call you everyday, sayang," he reassured me. I watched his back as he went through immigration and beyond, willing him to have a safe journey. On the drive home, I started planning a welcome home celebration for him, just the both of us sharing our love for each other.

The beep of an SMS interrupted my thoughts. It was M, asking if I wanted to meet up that night since she knew J was going to be away. I wasn't in the mood to socialise, and besides, I wanted to wait for J's call (he would call my house number since it was cheaper than calling the mobile phone). I dialled her number to speak to her (community service message - don't SMS while driving, and always use a handsfree kit when making or receiving calls).

One ring, two rings, three rings... and then a male voice answered. "Hi Kucing, De Bastard here, how are you?" What the hell was De Bastard doing with M and why was he answering her phone?

"I'm fine, is M there?"

"Ya, I'll pass you to her in a sec. So you missing J already?" he asked in a teasing voice.

"Ya, you know how much I love him, of course I miss him already," I told him bluntly.

"So sweet! Anyway, you free or not to watch a movie tonight? M and I have nothing better to do so we're going to Midvalley, then we'll have dinner after that. Join us lah," he urged.

The words "No thanks" formulated in my mind. "I'll think about it," came out of my mouth instead. What?!? How dare my mouth disobey my mind!

"Don't tarik harga lah," De Bastard said. I could hear the smile in his voice.

"Can you pass me to M please?" I asked loudly. The next moment, M came on the phone.

"Hi Kucing, so sorry, he just grabbed the phone from me. How are you? Back from the airport yet?" she babbled.

"No, still driving. Anyway M, I don't think I can make it tonight, I want to stay at home and wait for J to call."

"OK, no problem, if you change your mind let me know. Otherwise we can come over to your place and hang out there," she suggested.

I wondered when M and De Bastard had become joined at the hip. She never seemed to meet me without him in tow these days.

"Eh M," I couldn't resist asking. "You and De Bastard an item now, ke?"

"Eeee! Please lah Kucing! Of course not. He says it's safer to hang out with me, because if he's alone, he'll start with his buaya ways again. And apparently there's some woman who's out looking for him and he's hiding from her," she said. I could hear De Bastard laughing in the background, saying something inaudible.

Strangely, I felt slightly relieved that they weren't a couple, and put it down to the fact that De Bastard was a buaya and I didn't want him to hurt M.

"OK lah, M, I'll call you later," I said, and hung up.

M's suggestion to hang out at my place sounded like a good idea. At least I wouldn't be alone, and I would still be at home and able to take J's call.

I had errands to run and a few hours later, exhausted, I was lying on my bed when the phone rang. It was J. "Hi sayang, I just arrived at my hotel." It was good to hear his voice. "I didn't expect you to call so soon. How was the flight?" I asked.

The conversation lasted for about 5 minutes, then J said he wanted to rest as he was tired. "I'll call you again tomorrow," he said.

"OK, take care," I said.

I looked at the time. It was 6pm. I picked the phone up and called M. "J just called, so I'm free for the rest of the night," I told her.

"Great!" she shrieked. "I'll pick you up in about an hour."

I'll? I thought. What happened to "We"? "Where's De Bastard?" I asked casually. "Oh, he went home already. Said he'll meet me at Midvalley later. Probably wants to shave and look good so women can check him out. You know him," she said. I could practically hear her rolling her eyes.

"OK, see you in an hour," I told her.

A couple of hours later, the three of us were walking into the cinema. "I want to sit in the middle," De Bastard announced. "No, I want to sit next to Kucing," M insisted. In the end, I sat in the middle and held the popcorn. De Bastard leaned close to me and whispered, "Don't eat it all, Kucing! Otherwise my hands will have nothing else to do and may start roaming." I peered at the seat next to him. An old uncle was sitting there. "Good luck," I laughed.

"I didn't mean on that side," De Bastard whispered.

Zing! Something pierced my heart.

The strong scent of Cool Water muddled my senses. My face started feeling hot.

I wanted to continue, but I've got an appointment to get to, so have to leave you with this cliffhanger. Part 3 to come soon!

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a heated up Meow.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

De Bastard: Part 1

Sometimes you find that everything is going your way, your life is perfect, and nothing can ruin it ... and then you find that you're your own worst enemy.

At one time, I had this great man (J). He had neither looks nor wealth, but he was gentle, affectionate and loyal. Everything that a wise woman wants in a man, knowing that he is perfect husband material. He used to tell me often how much he loved me, how much he loved having me in his life. And I loved him back.

Then I met De Bastard. The kind that foolish women swoon over - great looks, real charmer, knows how to manipulate women. I disliked him instantly, which, in hindsight, probably spurred him on to try and win over my affections. Men like this have egos the size of a jumbo jet and always take it as a challenge when a woman doesn't fall in love with them at first sight. They wine her and dine her, and the minute her eyes go all googly and starry, they dump her.

I'm sure you all know men like De Bastard.

I was introduced to De Bastard by a mutual friend (M). M and I were having dinner one late evening (J wasn't with us because he was working late) when De Bastard called her, saying he was bored. M invited him to join us, then quickly filled me in on his background. "Real buaya," she warned.

He arrived about 20 minutes later, and I had my first look at the man who would ruin my love life. Tall, fair, freshly shaved, funky gelled hairstyle, bedroom eyes, a killer smile and dimples to boot. He smelled of Cool Water, which at that time was one of my favourite male scents until every Ah Beng in town decided to jump on the Davidoff bandwagon.

"Hello," he smiled politely at me. The introductions were made. Small talk ensued. I was immune to his looks and charm. My mind was concerned with other matters, specifically what time J was going to call me, and whether he would remember it was our 6 month anniversary the next day. De Bastard kept trying to draw me into the conversation but I just answered in monosyllables, more intent on finishing off my food and getting home. Finally he gave up and focused his attention on M.

"M, you know that girl in my office I was telling you about? The one who makes any excuse to stop by my cubicle? She resigned today. My fan club is gone," he said, laughing. I noticed the dimples flashing in and out. Hmm, quite cute, my heart said. Yes but he's a bastard, my brain said. True, my heart concurred.

More small talk, and finally we called it a night. J still hadn't called, and I was cursing his boss for driving him so hard. "It was nice to meet you, Kucing," De Bastard said as we got up, extending his arm for a handshake. My hand automatically shot out and clasped his. "Nice to meet you too," I responded. Lest you think otherwise, there was no chemistry, no spark of any kind. I went home and J called an hour later, apologising as he had been caught in a meeting. "I love you, sayang," he said. "See you tomorrow, sweet dreams."

That was typical J, no matter how stressed out he was in the office, he would always be calm and sweet when talking to me.

Time passed, and J started getting busier at work. He was working hard to get a promotion, and consequently we had less time to meet up. I hung out more often with M, and De Bastard started becoming a regular at our outings. I found out that he was a real buaya, and he had many conquests to boast about. "But now I've changed. I want to meet that special someone, it's time for me to settle down," he said, shooting a serious look at M and me. Ya right, my brain muttered, a leopard never changes his spots. Once a buaya, always a buaya.

Two weeks later, my phone beeped with an SMS. "Hi Kucing, wondering if u're free for a drink? I'm super bored ~ De Bastard," it read. Damn, M must have given him my phone number. It so happened at the time that I was bored as well, and had nothing to do, but wasn't interested in meeting him. "Sorry, I have some work to finish up," I lied in my SMS back to him. No response. Hah, I thought, typical bastardy behaviour. You don't get what you want, so you just merajuk or disappear.

I was wrong.

An hour later, another SMS came in. "Hi Kucing, still working? I'm still bored. Have you had dinner?" Alamak, I thought. Obviously this guy hasn't given up. I wondered where M was and why De Bastard didn't just go out with her. This time I didn't reply until half an hour later. "Ya still working. Already eaten."

His reply came in barely a minute later. "Awww, now I have no one to have dinner with. I'm starving. Never mind, have a good night." I felt a pang of conscience but dismissed it, knowing that this was how buayas operated. They manipulate you into feeling sorry for them - and once you start feeling even the slightest pity, you know that you're in for an emotional roller coaster ride.


This is turning out to be an extra long story, so I shall write it in parts so as not to miss out any details. Part II to follow soon.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with an anti-bastard Meow.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Marriage: Tips to regain that spark

An email from a troubled reader:

Dear kucing gatal,
I've married to my husband for 4 years now. However, lately, I found that our love making is not as hot and steamy as before. Well, I would say that the lovemaking is not the best compared to my ex, but I loved him dearly, he has most of the charateristics you would look for as a husband, less the lovemaking part, lah..

So, the problem now is, everytime I'm with him, I have to imagine being with my ex so that I would be 'ready' for him..U know what I mean. And the orgasm? Well, as u might expect, i faked it, and I have this fear that I will never have an orgasm....EVER!

Please help, I love my husband so much, but how do I get the spark again?

-Desperate Housewife-

Kucing Gatal says:
Dear Desperate Housewife,

Congratulations on hooking yourself a great husband - good men are so hard to find these days. Make sure you hang on tightly to that jantan of yours ;)

Losing the spark after marriage is a common problem faced by spouses everywhere. This usually occurs once the physical attraction between two people have lessened somewhat, and this is normal when a couple have been living together for some time.

I note that you love your husband dearly, but are you still physically attracted to him? Has he changed in any way in the past 4 years? Did you always stick to the same lovemaking routine? There should be some underlying reason(s) for this problem, but since I lack the facts, I'll have to generalise.

I have no idea why you broke up with your ex, but the fact that you imagine being with him reveals that you don't hate him. Perhaps there are some subconscious reservations you have about not having married him instead? Many women imagine they are with some famous actor when they're making love, or some other famous personality. The fact that you specifically chose your ex could be an indication of some emotional baggage.

As for faking the orgasm, that's normal too, but I understand your need to have the real thing. Before your lovemaking grew stale, did you have orgasms? Or have you been faking for the past 4 years? Do you communicate with your husband in bed, i.e. show/tell him what you like? Even if it's non-verbal, this sort of communication works wonders in improving sex lives. Perhaps you're shy to tell your husband what turns you on, in which case I would advise you to get over the shyness because the only one losing out is you.

To put the zing back into your sex life, the first thing to do would be to break away from routine. Don't make love at the same time and in the same position each time. Find out when your libido is at its peak, and do it then. Try new positions. Enjoy weekend getaways or mini-vacations where you focus on each other and nothing else. Treat him to a new haircut or new clothes - something that will increase your attraction to him. Think of all the little things he does to keep you happy - this will increase romance which in turn leads to a better sex life. Watch adult movies together. Use sex toys if you can, this will help to enhance the overall experience. Increase foreplay - take the time to thoroughly explore each other.

There are tons of tips on how to make your love life sizzle, all easily available on the Internet. However, these tips alone will not remain effective over the long term if you do not communicate well with your husband. I cannot stress enough how important good communication is in a relationship.

If your husband is considerate, and I believe he is since you said he has all the good husband characteristics, he will listen and learn and apply new techniques to his lovemaking. After all, men like the feeling of being able to bring a woman to orgasm, make her toes curl, make her scream out his name in delight. So do both him and yourself a favour and tell/show him what turns you on!

Hope this helps,
Kucing Gatal

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a spiced up Meow.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Present-giving: A Dying Art

Every year on my birthday I look forward to receiving presents from everyone I know. And every year the number of presents keeps dwindling. Where before I used to have friends and family buying me individual gifts, now I have a group of friends presenting me with one shared gift, and family can no longer be bothered to shop for me, so it's usually cash from them.

Where before there would be so much thought and love going into each purchase, now it's obvious that the purchase was hurriedly made and usually picked to suit the buyer's budget and not the birthday person's taste.

Where before I used to receive books, watches, perfumes, jewellery and CDs, now I receive candles and other totally useless items, and once in a while, an unwanted gift someone received on their own birthday. And each time, I have to react in the same way.

Friend: Guess what it is before opening it!
Me: Err ... (shakes box) .... a vase?
Friend: No lah! Quickly guess again!
Me: I have no idea. (Tears wrapping paper apart and opens box with a beaming smile)

Inside lies one of those sand sculpture things, you know, the coloured sand in a bottle that you can find in shopping centres nationwide?

Me: (Maintaining big fake smile) Oh it's bee-yoo-ti-ful! Thanks so much!!
Friend: I knew you'd like it!

I already have two of those. But hey, at least it wasn't yet another candle.

And then there are presents from guys. Men who are not interested in you are likely to get you gift vouchers, if they get you anything at all. Men who are interested in you will get you something that THEY like. For instance, G-strings.

I'll let it be known right now that I hate G-strings. They make you feel like you're having a permanent wedgie. But they are a necessary evil, since visible panty lines are a social disgrace these days. Some G-strings are more comfortable than others. Put it this way, the sexier they are, the more uncomfortable they are.

There was this one guy who bought me a G-string that was literally a string and some lace. And it was TINY. He must have had delusions of me having a teeny tiny waist because that thing looked like it wouldn't even fit a toddler. And he had the cheek to say, "I'll take you out to dinner tonight if you promise to wear that," followed by a lecherous wink. "Oh, I wish I could, but I already have dinner plans ... for the next three months," I said sweetly.

The next category of presents are the boyfriend gifts. Now, boyfriends are under a lot of pressure to get good gifts or end up with a merajuk/sulky girlfriend. I know one guy who bought his girlfriend a bookmark for her birthday, and then spent half a month's salary on flowers, chocolates and gifts to win back her affection. I'm not going to go into a debate on why girls behave like this, they just do. Just like guys are into sports and cars. (Generalising is so much fun.)

Hint to guys: Girls just want to be pampered and appreciated - a spa/massage treatment will always be welcome, and if you're broke and can't afford the real thing, do it yourself! Even if it's just a 15 minute foot massage, it's a lot better than buying her a useless RM50 gift, ok?

I like shopping for people. I like taking the time to browse and wonder if they would actually appreciate the gift before I buy it. I take the trouble to find out beforehand if there's anything specific they want, simply because I care about the person. Besides, it's their birthday and they deserve to feel special and happy on that day. It's just once a year after all.

The worst present I've ever received was this really ugly fake pearl necklace that looked like it belonged to Mimi of Drew Carey fame. And it was obvious that it had been a free gift from some other purchase because the brand name was on the clasp! If you can't afford anything, my dear, I don't care. Just wish me sincerely, have a good chat with me, have a teh tarik with me, it doesn't matter. Just don't go fobbing off your unwanted gifts on me. That's all I ask. Remember, your present speaks volumes about you.

Kucing Gatal wants to hear from you - what's the worst present you've ever received? And what's the worst present you've ever given someone?

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a presentable Meow.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

The Porn Identity

I have blogger's block. Been thinking and thinking of what to write, and nothing remotely intelligent or interesting comes to mind. Which surely provides you with a clue as to the quality of my mind (depraved as it is, I can't even come up with a hamsap topic this morning).

Anyway, I went surfing around and found a name generator thingy. Naturally, I had to try it out. Lo and behold:

Your Porn Star Name is: Nasty Thong

What the ...??! Nasty Thong? Who comes up with these names? I was expecting some exotic name like Sizzling Susan or Busty Brenda. Nasty Thong just sounds like some rapper's ho.

Thoroughly dissatisfied, I tried another site. The results were much better.

My new pornstar name, boys and girls, is Barbie Hardcore.

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal @ Barbie Hardcore signing out with a porntastic Meow.

If you're at work and can't access these sites because of the word "porn" in the URL, try this site. Hope that works for you.

I will not be responsible if you get fired.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Sex on the beach .....

.... is messy and uncomfortable. If anyone tells you otherwise, ask them if they've done it, and if they were fully naked.

Because, I'm telling you, sand will get everywhere, in every single crevice. You may be lying on a mat, but that sand will still get you. And need I mention sand crabs? Can you imagine some of those little critters running over your body while you're trying to get jiggy with it? *shudder*

Anyway, this is not a lecture to tell you boys and girls not to get down and dirty on a beach. To each his own, after all. And many people just get horny with the danger factor thrown in - the more public the place, the more chances of you getting caught, the hornier you get. And the heightened excitement just leads to a better all-round experience ;)

I've been a bit adventurous in my lifetime, and have almost joined the mile-high club. Didn't get a chance to fully complete it cos those dang stewardesses just kept walking up and down. I think next time I'll fly to some little-known destination so the plane will be much emptier.

Apart from that, nothing out of the ordinary really, because Kucing is a coward sometimes and though the urge is great, the fear of getting caught is greater. The car, hotels, public toilets, the beach, all have been tested out. Haven't tried out more exciting venues like dressing rooms (especially those with curtains instead of a door - do you think any salesperson would have the guts to pull them open if they hear some suspicious moans?)

I remember once I was driving home late at night with a couple of drunk friends in the backseat and they just started making out like there was no tomorrow. Hello, please get a room. Or wait till I'm out of the car at least! I have no desire in hearing those kissy slurpy noises coming from people I know, in MY car, when I'm not involved! I would never do that, start making out with a third party watching, if the third party is someone known to me ;) After all, the third party may start passing comments on my technique and stuff. If it's a stranger, it's easier for me to fix him/her with a ferocious glare to shut them up. Acting bitchy to strangers is so easy. Acting bitchy to friends is much harder because they're likely to slap me and put me in my place.

But I digress. I want to know, what are the most exciting places you've ever done it in? And did you get caught? Was it enjoyable? Details please ;)

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a voyeuristic Meow.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mudslinger and the Coconut Abuser

Congratulations to Mudslinger for winning the first ever Guessing Game on my blog. As promised, here's an entire post dedicated to her.

Please note that this is a fictitious, tongue-in-cheek agony aunt column.

Dear Kucing Gatal,
Please help me. Last Saturday as I was doing my weekly shopping at the pasar malam, I passed by a gerai selling coconut water. As I looked at the coconuts, my mind suddenly conjured up images of Kenny Sia. I could think of nothing else but Kenny Sia. I was supposed to buy watermelons but I ended up buying two coconuts instead (the lady was puzzled why I wanted coconuts instead of the juice but she sold them to me anyway).

The coconuts are now lying on my kitchen counter where I stare at them every few minutes. Kenny Sia has taken over my mind, his face appears everywhere. I was watching Finding Neverland and drooling over Johnny Depp when I went to the kitchen to get a drink. On my way back I looked at the coconuts, then for some reason, I kept seeing Kenny Sia on screen instead of Johnny Depp.

I've tried everything to get over this craziness, even meditating while surrounded by the smell of freshly-cut grass, wearing my lucky blue underwear, but nothing is working. I tried to throw away the coconuts but my hands refuse to obey. Please help me, I am starting to go out of my mind with this coconut/Kenny Sia obsession!

Coconutilly yours,

Kucing Gatal says:

Dear Mudslinger,
You are not alone. Kenny Sia-itis has swept across the nation, and is now the number 1 social problem in Malaysia. He is responsible for the sudden surge in domestic coconut sales, which is affecting our economy since there are now less coconuts for export.

There is also an increase in coconut abuse, which has led to the creation of the group known as "Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Coconuts" (SPCC) whose motto is: "Coconuts Have Feelings Too".

I sympathise with your plight. I'm sure you want to get on with your life, and be able to enjoy a glass or two of coconut water without feeling sudden lust for Kenny Sia.

My advice: take the two coconuts and stand in front of a mirror. Hold a coconut in each hand, then lift your arms up as high as possible, stare at yourself in the mirror and say, "Kenny Sia is a coconut abuser." Repeat 20 times, take a 1 minute break, then repeat a further 20 times. Do this every two hours. The mental and physical torture combined will soon cure you of this Kenny Sia addiction.

If this fails, I suggest you go to Penang during Thaipusam, and watch as the devotees smash coconuts on the ground. As each one splits open, repeat to yourself: "Coconuts are just a fruit ... Kenny Sia abuses coconuts."

This should do the trick.

Disclaimer: I will not be responsible if you develop a sudden affinity with coconuts and an intense hatred for Kenny Sia.

Hope this helps,
Kucing Gatal

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a coconutty Meow.

By the way I have nothing against Kenny Sia, I've just been wanting to write about his coconuts for some time now. ;)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Kucing Gatal's Guessing Game

Once a year, a group of us will squeeze ourselves into a booth at our favourite cafe, and the following remarks will be passed:

"Eh, this one his eyebrows a bit cacat lah."

"Like this face also can get in meh??"

"Wow, look at this one, he's SO handsome!"

"Eeee, can see so clearly that this one is wearing lipstick!!"

"I know this guy!!!! He's my cousin's colleague. Baru divorce!"

"This one is so shaggable .... too bad so young."

"Why so many mat sallehs this year?"

"This one is not bad, huh?"

"Ha ha ha! Look at his nose!"

"Oh my God, I know this loser! How the heck did he get in?"

And so on and so forth.

Now, who can guess what event/thing I'm talking about? The first person to guess correctly will win .... (I thought really long and hard about this - can't be something tangible cos I'm a virtual cat) .... an entire post dedicated to them. Yup that's right, you win, and I dedicate a post to you. If you don't want this wonderful prize, you can still take part, and if you win, just forfeit the prize, or pass it on to someone else ;)

So put on your thinking caps, quickly guess!

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a challenging Meow.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

That weak-kneed sensation

You know how sometimes when someone looks at you, your heartbeat quickens, you feel some electric tension and your insides start melting?

I had that sensation last night.

Had coffee with a male friend who's quite good looking, but we've never really flirted with each other or considered going out with one another, mainly because we don't really have much in common. But last night, as he stared into my eyes from across the table, I felt a spark. I quickly lowered my gaze and stared into my coffee cup instead, stirring the coffee endlessly. I started fidgeting, which is unlike me. Usually I can banter and debate with this guy, but I found myself tongue-tied for once, then I started babbling some rubbish, all the while looking down, as if I was talking to my coffee.

He seemed slightly amused. Those few times when I looked up at him, he glanced away, then gazed straight back into my eyes, a smile playing around his lips. There was a short moment of silence. I broke it by starting to babble about work. He kept staring. I kept stirring, babbling, fidgeting. What was wrong with me? Totally out of character, and my confidence had deserted me. Did he know my heart was thumping? Did he know I wanted to reach out, to hold his hands, to stroke his cheek, to kiss him? I was stunned at the depth of my sudden attraction to him. He seemed slightly different, more mature, more manly, as he sat there. I wondered what had changed. New cologne? No, he was wearing the same old CK fragrance. A new haircut? No, still the same old ruffled look.

"Kucing," he said suddenly, and the world came back into focus. I blinked away the fantasies of me and him getting it on in the cafe bathroom, and forced myself to look him in the eye. "I .... need to pee lah, I'll be right back!" he said, then quickly got up and headed for the gents. Hmmm, totally potong steam, but it gave me time to gather my thoughts. Had he been intending to say something else? There had been a slight pause after all. Was he feeling the same way I was? But this was my friend, for God's sake, and we were both interested in other people, though we were both still single. We talked about guys I liked, and girls he liked, and it had never crossed our minds to get together.

Had he slipped something into my coffee? Some love potion from some bomoh? Of course not, he wasn't interested in me. Such an absurd thought. Before I could come up with more theories for my sudden crush, he was back. "Sorry, too much coffee," he said, smiling at me. I had never really noticed the way the corners of his mouth turned up when he smiled. "Eh shuddup kucing, stop this nonsense!" my brain said. "His hands look so nice, wonder how they would look holding mine," my heart whispered.

"It's getting late, we should go," my mouth said. He looked surprised, then glanced at his watch. "So early?" he asked. I wanted to stay, to find out if he was going to tell me he suddenly found me irresistible, but my logical and stern side won out. There was nothing between us, I was probably in some loony romantic phase and he happened to be in the right place at the right time - my hormones obviously couldn't distinguish between friends and potential lovers. The best thing to do would be to leave before I said something stupid, and end up with my foot in my mouth.

As we walked to his car, I turned to him and said "Thank you for the coffee and your company." "The pleasure is all mine, kucing," he said. My heart started thumping again, he had never said that to me before, and there was just something in the way he looked at me. I wasn't imagining things. All kinds of things were racing through my mind, does he like me, is he flirting with me, he seems the same, why is he staring at me, why is his goddamn car so far away ...

Finally we reached his car and got in. The closeness of him only excited my thoughts further. When he shifted gear, would his hands accidentally brush mine? Was he going to take an extra long route home?

Nothing of that sort happened. He drove the exact same route to my place, he kept his hands to himself, and he kept up a light conversation during the short drive. Stupid men and their confusing ways, I cursed. How can he make me feel this way and not notice? When he pulled up outside the gate, he didn't park the car at the side of the road. He didn't even turn off the engine. He just looked at me, and I started babbling again. "Well, good night, thanks for the coffee, I enjoyed your company," I blurted out, smiling inanely at him. "Take care," he said. We both sensed the other had a lot more to say, but neither worked up the courage to say anything.

We looked at each other for a while, then hugged awkwardly - we always hug goodbye but this time it didn't feel as comfortable or friendly as usual. He patted my back. I wanted to nuzzle his neck and plant kisses all over his face. So close, his lips just a few inches away, my heart was urging me to make the first move.

Instead, I pulled away and got out of the car. "Bye," I waved, then quickly walked into my home, where I could be alone with my thoughts and develop a thousand and one regrets. "I should have asked him to come in .... I should have kissed him goodnight .... I should have waited longer at the cafe .... I should have stared back at him instead of looking away ..."

But sometimes, things are better left unsaid. What if I had totally misread him, and what if I had made a fool of myself? Better safe than sorry for now, I told myself.

Later that night, as I was dozing off, his SMS came through. "Goodnight Kucing, sweet dreams." I didn't reply, partly because I was annoyed that he was having this effect on me, and partly because I didn't want him to think I was awake and thinking of him. Besides, I hate it when men do this, they look like they're going to confess something, then pull back, leaving us women confused and wondering if he even feels anything for us. I wondered if he had felt any chemistry that night, I wondered if he had experienced that same melting sensation I felt as he looked at me.

I hate not knowing!

I'll be meeting him again in a few days' time, and by this time, I must get my hormones under control ....

Till next time, this is Kucing Gatal signing out with a wistful Meow.