Today I spent some time trawling through my hard drive for photos of my cat, feeling in dire need of anything-feline. The first round of house-hunting that I did saw me more in love with the two black-and-white cats than the house, a behaviour I won't attempt to justify. Moving means that rather than have time to sort out my fall wardrobe (my second autumn ever!), I will be packing everything into boxes for Godknowshowlong. Bad idea. Whilst trying to sort out my visa and looking at a million and one interior design blogs, sketching out concepts on paper and in my head, drooling at scarlet sofas and damask chaise lounges. I'm one step closer to securing the cosy little place of my dreams, complete with an attic bedroom, even if it might be a little small. I think the housing agent was slightly amused as I was contemplating out loud where I'd keep my coats, shoes and books. "There's loads of space in the wardrobe" he said. "But you see, I have a lot of clothes", I replied. Pointing to some low-level shelving, he went, "That's ample space for shoes". "But you see, I have about 50 pairs over in England" (if you exclude the 2.5 and 3-inch boots meant for negotiating the Cambridge cobbles). And then I think he got even more amused listening to my phone conversation with D regarding head-bumping on a low ceiling and noise levels. I have to learn to stop being free entertainment to everyone. Once in a while, I envision myself as ladylike, feminine, calm and well-behaved like my cousins, and then it all comes to naught. How is it that we were all raised together and I turned out like that. Just the other day I had a huge spirited debate with D over how I am nothing demure (I hate that word-- it conjures up images of the epitome of subservient, mute and boring), although being ladylike and proper might be a different thing. Anyhows, fall. What better than animal print! I.e. my second skin. These shots of my cat sum it all up. She wriggled under my leopard-printed cape one day, and her ball was nearby. So I picked up a pair of zebra-print booties and my navy pumps, and voila. Your Feral Feline Fall Lookbook. With a little hint of pink.
The above pictures were taken at a relatively recent masked ball. It was a charity event. I'd woken up and groggily read a mail from my friend Julia about a masquerade in Cambridge, and so I called June. "But I have no masks!" she said. "Nevermind, I have three". "Why do you have masks!?", she quipped. Well, I have an emergency mask stash of nonsense. They're really great for PJ parties and what-nots. Anyhows, people always come to me when they need to borrow props, shoes, clothes and more. You get the picture; anyway we all must have a reputation for something. So I pulled out my zebra jumpsuit that I knew I would wear someday (the theme was Murder Mystery-- what better than a deranged zebra murderer in dyed snakeskin heels?) plus I'd spent my Honours Year at the zoo doing up a thesis on zebras and evolutionary psychology-- this look would celebrate them. The masks sold at the door were £2 and beyond hideous, so we were breathing a sigh of relief when we used mine. Except that they weren't compulsory (note to self: get gorgeous Venetian masks. Now, that would be the real deal) so we ended up not wearing them. That was the night when J met J-- one my college friend, the other my coursemate. They hit it off really well, and we spent the night fending off annoying buggers who tried to wind us up but ended up being wound up instead (and a particular one will probably spend the rest of his life looking into the mirror hauntedly) and reveling in girl talk. Now all my friends have flown back to their home countries, and Julia's my only friend left here, whilst I am crossing my place that June gets a PhD place here so she'll come back to the UK. Today it was announced that Cambridge has topped the world university ranking and again I fight with myself whether I should accept my doctorate place here. It's a bloody dilemma and 70121024 people have told me I am stupid to reject it. They would tell me after today that I am even stupider but I want to go back to clinical psychology. IF that course for international students even opens as planned. Sometimes the superficiality of society over the 'brand' you are stamped with extends beyond the label of the bag you tote around and the car you drive. It is a disgusting 'Open Sesame' incantation, but I guess that's just the way the world goes. Best not to think about it too much before one gets driven crazy. These six-inches are awesome to dance in (shocker!). Oh, and the ugly fluorescent yellow tag around my wrists really look like a hospital tag. Sometimes I think that events could do with more aesthetically-friendly forms of identification.
BySi zebra pantsuit; vintage red leather belt; Guess? satin clutch; Prada snakeskin heels; Warehouse cuff; Topshop earrings; Diva rings.
More shots of the amazing Ms K:
1. When I was accumulating a stash of coats for England last year. I'd keep telling my mother 'this is the last one'. Well, and then I got even more 'last-ones' when I arrived. I still don't have a white brocade coat, a black fuzzy faux-fur one, and a tan leather coat. One night The Cat suddenly jumped up onto the shelf to investigate something-- it amazes me how deft cats are. Despite how fat this one is.
2. Black and white shoes. Black and white cat. I have four family cats back in Singers. This is my absolute favourite, not because of her colour or the fact that her facial and hind markings are perfectly symmetrical (I'd only realised months after adopting her, which makes it even sweeter, kinda like how happy I was when I realised D is actually a cordon-bleu chef masquerading as a designer) but because there was that something in her. I met her on the first day of volunteer duties at the SPCA and I knew she would be my cat. But, my father is vehemently anti-cats. Week by week, every other cat got adopted, but magically, this cat somehow never got chosen. Which was rather mysterious because she was the best-looking cat there (seriously! and there were loads of ugly cats). 13 months later, I finally convinced The Mother to engage in a smuggling mission with me (needed her to sign the papers because I was underaged). Execute first, face the music later-- 先斩后奏. And one stormy Monday morning on the 27th September 2004, Ms K went home with us in a taxi, to the backdrop of howling winds and merciless rains. And beyond everything else of what a wonderful (sometimes snobbish, sometimes loving) cat she is, She Who Looks More Soft Toy Than A Soft Toy has a crazy knack for shoes that I find both amusing and endearing. When I walk in with a new paperbag nestling a box of shoes, she will wake up and charge towards me, knocking things over (she never does that normally) and paw the bag. She'll sniff the shoes with glazed eyes and look a little high as she marks her territory (and brands her seal of approval) on them. I've never met cats like that before. So sometimes I miss her reaction whenever I buy new shoes here. Luckily for me, D shares in my shoexcitement too.