Saturday, September 18, 2004


"Binstead's Safari"

Today was the 2nd birthday for our grandson Gregor held at the Multnomah Arts Center, where after presents and birthday cake, the kids engaged in spray painting on big square sheets of paper, clay crafts, and gluing feathers and glitter on headresses. Afterwards, our daughter invited my mother and me to her new home. While there we met her roommate who just purchased a baby Serval. A Serval is an African cat and when fully grown looks much like a Cheetah, only smaller, about three feet long. I'm told the cat can leap about eight feet high. The little kitten, perhaps hungry or lonesome, mewed a number of times. The sound was more like the sound of some exotic bird rather than that of a cat meowing.
I am not a cat person, but I find some of their habits fascinating. I remember reading the book "Binstead's Safari" by Rachel Ingalls. She described a safari camp in Africa that was visited by a lion at night. The Lion would lay close to camp and cough. I imagined the sound of that cough. It was a polite gentle cough, the quiet kind you might make in your hand to clear the tickle without disturbing those around you in a concert at the Schnitz. I shared that with my wife. We laughed. Later I would call her on the phone and when she would answer, "Hello?" I would emit my polite gentle cough.
"Michael", she would say.

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