He inquired whether there is any centre where his pet cat can stay temporarily should he want to go on holidays. Me, thinking that he's Japanese and how they are famous for coming up with all kinds of weird inventions, immediately assumed that he was thinking a 'cat hotel'.
Now, we Malaysians are not THAT nutty.
I tried to think of a possible alternative for a 'cat hotel'. How about an animal shelter? I told him that I had seen the SPCA signboard somewhere at Bukit China area. Sorry fellow Malaysians, I'm not sure what SPCA stands for. Never bothered to find out because I live in a village and even monkeys come to our backyards, not just cats. I assumed it is a Shelter for Protection against Cruelty to Animals. Hmm.....that made sense.
It turned out that the boss doesn't even have a cat. He was just making inquiries IN CASE he wants to keep a cat. Oh, dear. SO that's why the Japanese are so inventive. They think '...in case we need this...', '...in case we need that...', '....in case we want to do this....', '...in case we want to do that....' and all the '...what ifs....'. Make something exist first. Then, somebody might use it.
We asked him whether he was thinking of getting a cat. He said yes. He was also very specific about the cat that he wants. He's looking for a cat that.......
- ........is silver-coloured
- ........has long upwards tail
- ........has white whiskers
- ........has to be male
- ........costs MYR50 only
Just when I was trying to decipher what he meant by 'silver colour', it was the price he asked that made my jaw drop. MYR50?! That's like USD14. Nobody will sell a 'pedigree' cat for that price!
Back to the 'silver colour'. Knowing how our products are described in our drawings in this factory, I assumed he meant 'grey-coloured' and it would be a 'pedigree cat grey' like a Siamese, a Persian or a Birman. The competition standard kitties. Be prepared to fork out MYR1000+ for one, we told him. Seriously, when I was still in school, a 3-month-old Birman could easily fetch MYR300 minimum. Imagine the price after 20 years.
I half-jokingly told my Japanese boss that my Malaysian cats are all 'multi-coloured'. Just like us.
Then, a colleague told him that it could be possible to get one for that price over in the capital city or its surrounding districts and it has to be only the SPCA. Somebody rich in the city might have sent over unwanted extra pedigree kittens to the shelter. The SPCA people would be very happy to give a kitty a home for as low as MYR15 I heard.
Now, anyone sees a silver-haired, white-whiskered cat with an upward long tail? And are you desperate for MYR50?