Cats from Dubai

Cats from Dubai Illustration © barbara caveng

A true story from Oderstraße in Neukölln, as it happened to me on 3.4.2023

I doubted the world, I doubted myself and above all my hearing. Was I suffering from an acoustic illusion caused by hypacusis, a sensorineural hearing loss?

Was my auditory perception in my Ieft ear no longer sufficient to understand the words in the context intended by the sender? Or in other words, had I gained the freedom to hear stories that had not been told that way?

I searched the other person's face for an interpretation of what had been said as I had heard it: "My cats from Dubai." Tentatively, almost bashfully, I ventured a repetition of the last two words, "...from.... Dubai...."

The day had held a lot of pain for me until these late afternoon hours, and so it seemed possible that my psyche had turned to other realities, obviously ones in which no Cheshire cats, but at least cats from Dubai were strolling across the tin roofs. Their existence was now confirmed to me by my chance acquaintance: "Yes," she added to my muttering, "just last week I picked up four cats from Dubai at the airport"!

In the reflection of her pupils, I saw the four cats flying over the Turkish-Syrian earthquake zone with a glowing eyes and splayed limbs. To land at Tegel - cats and other unusual flying animals have to fly into the airport, which is closed to normal air traffic - they ruffled their hair and lifted their humps by body contraction, initiating the braking process by extending their claws and digging into the ground on landing to come to an abrupt stop.

"Maybe you can ride my cats around town on the clothes horse sometime?"

Wow.... It took me some time to create the image in my mind of ambling through Neuköllln with cats on a rolling clothes horse instead of STREETWARE.
Would the animals cling to the clotheslines or hang like wet rags from two plastic strings or, hooking their tails, swing along to the rhythm of the cobblestones?

I preferred not to commit myself at this point, but to weigh the request carefully, and so I said goodbye - this, however, happily with the realisation that reality and phantasmorgia describe only two different perspectives of perception.