marți, 8 martie 2011

The Cat Catcher

A man carrying a long pole with a metal loop on the end told Bahadur that he was a cat catcher, and Bahadur let him inside the gate without question. He was after a stray cat which had been coming in and out. The cat jumped over a wall, the man also departed. Ramesh reprimanded Bahadur for letting all and sundry walk in the gate, and Bahadur erupted with a tirade “ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya,” which goes on until you interrupt him and repeat what you have just said. Then he goes muttering away – one of many crochety individualists who have worked in our house.

I was struck by the image of the cat catcher, roaming with a long stick, always on the lookout and trying to outsmart those swift creatures. (That loop of wire looked nasty, though.) The man was young, with a mop of curly hair, a ragged green plaid lungi. He left smiling, as though being a cat catcher was a fine thing.