Noticed this week

Mar 22, 2007

On Paama, we added Pima the puscat to our household in order to control the rats that ran wild on our roof each night. Pima regularly showed up in the afternoons to play with his catch while I swung in my hammock reading an issue of the New Yorker. How cute, I thought, as Pima tossed the rat in the air, batted it back and forth, and then chewed its head off. “Ded wan taem,” I’d announce to Erin. “Well sleep better tonight.”

I’m reading a fantastic book about Vanuatu, Shark God, and am actually missing Bislama, the pidgin language we spoke during our Peace Corps service.

Here in Durham, Callie the cat has in recent weeks got hold of baby squirrels and played that innate game of cat-and-mouse. But a squirrel makes one heck of a loud squeal when succumbing to Mother Nature, and my entreaties to Callie to leave the poor creature be just doesn’t work. I don’t feel good about this — different circumstances than Paama — but at least Callie hasn’t been able to decimate the birds in the area, as they can hear the tinkle of his license medallion.

At the backyard feeder, the birds have returned: bluebirds and goldfinches and woodpeckers and mourning doves. Our friend Butch has kept us stocked with birdseed for three years now, and we’re the luckier for it.

Looking at my resume file last night, I noticed a rash of typos in one section, and my heart sank. For all the proofreading over the Christmas holidays — me and three others — some keyboard slip introduced errors, and dammit if the printed resume I sent for that j-school job didn’t reflect those errors. Embarrassing, and maddening.

Erin’s letter to the global education committee must have been perfect, because she was notified that she’d been awarded a second year of the very generous Foreign Language Area Studies grant. Hem nao, Erin. Woman blong mi hemi nambawan.

Anton Zuiker

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