ms cat nail bar

By Ms. Cat

For my fiftieth birthday, my eldest niece, Nadia, got me a voucher for a nail spa and so I went for a pedicure this morning. It was a very expensive pedicure (RM75) but seemed no different from the sort I usually have at the salon down the street. (Note to self: If a salon is called Posh!, you can expect high prices for nothing more than ambience, speaking of which, the piped music was embarrassing and included a tinkly version of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.)

I also had the ‘callus heel treatment’, which cost RM70, but I’m not sure I noticed where the pedicure ended and where this treatment began, especially as the former included the ‘removal of calluses’. I must say my heels look and feel smoother than they’ve done in a long time. I’m pleasantly surprised as nothing can usually be done with the cracked and hard skin on the soles of my feet. Perhaps I was paying RM70 for magic!

I usually choose scarlett for my toe nails, but the last time I had a pedicure I picked a dark coral shade. You can see what I opted for this time. The colour is beautiful but, as always, my toes look like slug corpses.

While I was having my hour as a lady of leisure I received a text from the kids saying that my bedroom door had ‘locked itself’ and there was no key to be found. I shall have to call a locksmith tomorrow, but in the meantime, I’ve got one of the condo’s maintenance staff to remove the lock and door knobs and so now the door has to be held closed with a stool. I just thought I’d add that to this post as confirmation that a mother’s day always ends up equal parts bitter, sour and sweet.

One Each, Please


I can relate! Used to be if I found anything that fit and I liked it, I’d buy one in every available colour. I think it was a knee-jerk reaction to it being difficult to find clothes my size. I’m trying to break the habit, but it’s hard. However, an outfit sometimes does justify getting ‘one in every colour’.

Something About My Name

This morning I listened to the recent BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour episode about first names.

I’ve always been interested in the meanings and origins of names. And I like knowing how people get their names, or choose their children’s names. I was nearly named Diana, but my uncle’s then-wife protested, saying it sounded like the name of a ‘working’ girl. Apparently Malaysian women who worked in bars in the 60s (they were referred to as bar girls) were called Suzie, Maggie, Lucy, Alice, Diana etc. (my great grandmother was called Lucy, and my grandmother Alice – I don’t know what my uncle’s then-wife had to say about that!). I don’t like Diana, but it’s not for that reason. I just don’t like the way it sounds and I can’t imagine being a Diana. I don’t, in my opinion, seem like a Diana; or look like one. Do I look like a Daphne?

Daphne du Maurier: This picture reminds me of my mother who was a smoker and often cooked with a cigarette hanging from the corner of her mouth.

Daphne was chosen as my name because my uncle’s then-wife, my mother and her sisters had all read and liked Daphne du Maurier’s novels. I don’t know if my father had any say. I believe he chose my Chinese name because he was the one who could read and write Chinese. However, my sisters and I have very ordinary Chinese names. They are the Janes and Jills of Chinese names: Mei Choo, Mei Chan, Mei Mei and Mei Lin.Read More »

Thank Godzilla it’s Friday!

godzilla goes out for dinner

I’m looking forward to the weekend because it’s when I get to sleep in and also take a break from cooking.

This weekend, I would like to go on a rampage and stomp on a few cities a la Godzilla, but only abandoned cities, with no danger of casualties: I’m obviously a half-baked monster.




No Friends

I’ve just seen my friend Senthil. He lives in Singapore (he’s Malaysian), but is in KL for work meetings. I Miss him. If only he lived here. When we first met, back in 2007, he was here but he moved soon after. I think he’s the only friend I’ve made after turning forty whom I feel about the same as the ones I made in my teens or twenties. The sort I can take for granted and who take me for granted too, but in the best possible way.

I don’t feel like that about anyone in KL and I am no one’s go-to friend here. There isn’t a single person in this city who thinks of me as the first person to call when they are  happy or sad or angry or confused; or when they want to watch a movie or have a coffee or check out a new play. I don’t hang out doing nothing with anyone here. I am no one’s default person and no one is mine.

Is fifty too late to make that sort of friend? Maybe that’s why having a partner is important to me. Was important to me. I can’t rely on that anymore. I won’t. It’s a mistake to depend on a lover, even one supposedly bound to you legally, to safeguard your emotional well being.