by Mooky and Rheow

Scene: A room that looks like a really posh office. Wood panelling, carpet, potted plants, gold-plated fixtures--the works. There is a cream-coloured Siamese cat in a pantsuit that matches her brown markings seated a leather armchair next to a couch. The Siamese cat has one of those frame-less spectacles, a file and a note pad.

(Knock at the door.)

Siamese cat: Come in!

(Enter one ginger tomcat--not very well groomed. As door opens, the sign outside the door can be seen to say "Dr Larissa Mau".)

Dr Mau: You must be . . . Mr Cavity?

Mac: You can call me Mac . . . Dr Mau?"

Dr Mau: Yes. Please sit down.

Mac: (sits down)

Dr Mau: Would you like to begin by telling me your problems?

Mac: (looks pensive) You see, Dr Mau, I'm not a very popular cat . . . in fact, you could say that almost every cat has it in for me . . .

Dr Mau: Paranoia is not an unusual case, Mac--

Mac: No, no! You don't understand! Most cats really hate me! The very mention of my name and they hiss and cuss!

Dr Mau: Could this have anything to do with . . . (refers to file) your *colourful* past?

Mac: Very much so, Doctor. As you already know, I was once a law-abiding cat like any one of my former tribe.

Dr Mau: The Jellicles--am I right?

Mac: Yes, *them*. Now, I'm the boogey-cat to all the kittens. Every time something goes wrong, I get blamed for it! It's like I'm some sort of universal scapegoat!

Dr Mau: Your file states that you have a criminal record . . . a rather long one at that.

Mac: Nonsense, they've got nothing on me! They might suspect it was me, but they've got no proof! None whatsoever!

Dr Mau: Could you elaborate?

Mac: (suspiciously) You're not with the police, are you?

Dr Mau: Remember how much you're paying for these sessions? The cops couldn't match it.

Mac: (sits back, satisfied) Well . . . you could say that I'm in the business of liberating certain luxury goods and edibles--kippers and so on--

Dr Mau: Nowadays, that's called *stealing*, Mac.

Mac: That's such an ugly word! Anyhow, I also have clandestine dealings with similar *business cats* and I'm quite a respectable cat on the whole, as many would tell you.

Dr Mau: Says here that you're known as the "Napoleon of Crime" and "The Hidden Paw". Most cats wouldn't like to meet you in a dark alley. Be honest, Mac--I'm trying to help you . . . Besides, you're paying me by the hour.

Mac: All right, all right . . . My dealings have not been totally *clean*, but I never did what some cats claimed I did! It's slander, I tell you!

Dr Mau: And what charges did they bring against you?

Mac: You were right about the stealing parts--and perhaps there were some casualties in a few gang fights and dog fights, but I never participated in mass-murder!

Dr Mau: That's a pretty serious offence . . .

Mac: But I didn't commit those crimes! Look at what they're saying about me! I'm supposed to be some brutal, sadistic murderer who won't think twice about gutting any cat in cold blood! Do I look like a psychopath to you?

Dr Mau: (takes in the ginger cat's rumpled appearance) Er . . .

Mac: It's to do with the fact that I'm a former Jellicle--they don't treat ex-Jellicles well at all--just ask Grizabella the Glamour Cat . . . Erm, maybe not Grizabella--she's gone off to be reborn and all that. I was once one of them and because of *one* youthful indiscretion, I was chased out. And they haven't had a good thing to say about me ever since.

Dr Mau: Do you feel that you were wrongly persecuted?

Mac: No! I'll be a tom and admit that what I did in that moment of rashness was really against all the rules--even though they were a really *unforgiving* set of rules--sorry, I'm digressing. Back then, I was all ready to confess to Old Deuteronomy--he's my granddad, you must have heard about him--and accept my exile gracefully, but before I could even explain, this screaming lynch mob was on to me! It's now--this present day and date--that I'm being unfairly persecuted!

Dr Mau: (makes a few notes) Go on . . .

Mac: I believe in giving credit where credit's due, but I will not be accused of things I never did! A cat's reputation in the underworld is pretty important, but I never went that far. Sure, I steal, but I got a gang to support and my people have got families too y'know! I know some of my followers get a bit rough in their dealings, but they all know who they'll answer to at the end of the day, so I got them under control. Furthermore, I never did send spies or subvert any kittens to my so-called "cause" of bringing death and ruin to the Jellicles! You have to be a real SOB to do that to kittens!

Dr Mau: It seems that you do harbour some resentment for you former family, though. Could it be that by repressing your feelings, you've created another persona that enacts your vengeful tendencies?

Mac: (a bit agitated) Oh please! I don't have a Mr Hyde hiding in my inner psyche! In fact, I'm not even all that sorry that they kicked me out anymore. I bet you don't even know half the going-ons in the tribe nowadays--it's not a perfect as you think-- (stops and takes a deep breath, muttering "Not going into that, not going into that . . .") In my case, it's basically branding a cat and rubbing his name even harder into the dirt afterwards.

Dr Mau: I also heard you associated with rats--it could be the cause for you bad reputation.

Mac: (jumps up) That's one of the worse excuses I've heard in a long time! I provide a form of employment for the rats--they've got it hard too. You think it's easy being one of the most despised life forms on earth?

Dr Mau: (half to herself) What with them being plague-carriers and generally nasty beasts to begin with . . .

Mac: (ignores her) And it's speciesism to discriminate against another race of mammals merely because we don't understand them--

Dr Mau: Back to the issue at paw, Mac, if you please.

Mac: Oh yes, sorry . . . (starts to pace) Well, it's like what I've told you--every cat believes that I'm the worse cat to walk under the Moon! And the kittens nowadays! To them, I'll be forever the mysterious bad guy--right up there next to the human who shot Bambi's mother! I swear, it's getting to me . . . I-I feel like just giving up and just *be* that monster they say I am!

Dr Mau: Just giving in and joining the Dark Side?

Mac: (puzzled) What?

Dr Mau: Never mind. (takes some papers from her file) I have here a documented record of the abduction of Old Deuteronomy on the night of the Jellicle Ball. Could you explain this?

Mac: (silent for a while) I hate to admit it, but that was me. I have a slight problem during the time of the Jellicle Ball . . . Believe me, I tried preventive therapy but it doesn't work!

Dr Mau: And this problem, what might it be?

Mac: I tend to lose all rational thought and sense around that particular time. (Nods at the papers) It happened that night--again--and I had this unbearable urge to go back to my former tribe. It was . . . something indescribable and wild. In my less than sane state, I cooked up that totally half-baked plot and executed it . . .

Dr Mau: And it didn't go very well, did it?

Mac: Naturally, it was a disaster! If I had been in my right mind at that time, I would have come up with a much better scheme--not that I would have in the first place, mind you. You must have noticed that even in my irrational state, I didn't hurt Old Deuteronomy--he'll always be the most respected cat in my life. I also keep away from the Jellicles as much as I can--

Dr Mau: However, the reports say that you fought with other toms and injured not a few in the fracas that followed--it appears that you have some violent tendencies, Mac.

Mac: I wasn't in a good frame of mind at that stage--what would any tom do when he was jumped on by four or five of them--

Dr Mau: Others claimed it was only one or two . . .

Mac: You should know that for every eye-witness account, there's a dozen other different versions, Doc. (gives her a look when she's about to say something) It was in self-defence--and I was injured in that fight to! And did I complain?

Dr Mau: But--

Mac: I thought you're supposed to be *helping* me here . . .

Dr Mau: (does a 180 without blinking) When did you start having these peculiar fits?

Mac: Ever since I was two years old. It's rooted rather deeply in that affair that got me kicked out. You see, when I was a young tom--(suddenly appears to realise something) Hold on . . . Hold on for one (unprintable word) minute! Cats don't go for therapy . . . (Looks down at himself) And I'm walking on two legs!

Dr Mau: Well, if you want to get *technical* about it, cats can't do this either (holds up pen). This is obviously a dream engendered by the subconscious longing to vent your frustrations. Your dilemma has placed you in a position where your thoughts and desires have transmuted themselves into an anthropomorphic representation of how you want the catharsis to be enacted.

Mac: Eh?

Dr Mau: The author made it up.

Mac: Oh. But (whips out a folded piece of paper--a receipt) you sure do earn *a lot* for a figment of my imagination . . .

Dr Mau: (looks her own suit and sniffs at a paw) No wonder I'm wearing Chanel--ahem! Not only do I allow you to vent, I also analyse your problems and offer solutions. Furthermore, I am also a part-time legal consultant, so I can offer some advice concerning your claims about slander after this session--for a suitable fee, of course.

Mac: You're also a lawyer? But that makes you an even bigger cr-- (stops when she glares at him with patented death-ray eyeballs)

Dr Mau: (icy, sub-zero tone) *Back* to your predicament, please, Mr Cavity.

Mac: Er, where were we exactly?

Dr Mau: You were telling me about how your little problem started?

Mac: (hops back on the couch and stretches out) Right . . . As I was saying, it all happened when I just entered adulthood . . .

(Fade to black)

End of the Insanity

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