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无论天涯海角,时报记者总有猫咪陪伴

更新时间:2017-6-7 11:22:41 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

A Times Tradition: Meet the Bureau Cats
无论天涯海角,时报记者总有猫咪陪伴

At times they’re friendly and persistent, arriving on the scene to poke a nose into the news-gathering operation.

有时他们友善而固执,在现场露面,探听新闻采访行动。

Other times they keep their distance, appear aloof, are hard to pin down.

有时候他们保持距离,表现冷漠,难以管束。

Some are easily wooed with gifts: a warm meal, a cool drink. When flattery fails and aggressions surface, employing a muzzle is tempting but ill-advised.

有些可以轻松地用礼物哄骗:一顿热腾腾的饭食,一杯冷饮。当讨好失败,你气急败坏时,忍不住想对他们使用口套,但那么做并不明智。

从喀布尔和巴格达,到开罗和达喀尔,时报驻外分社的记者偶尔会养一些猫伴侣,来壮大他们的前哨。

I’m referring, of course, to foreign bureaucrats.

当然,我指的是外国官僚(bureaucrats)。

Wait, pardon the typo. Make that foreign bureau cats.

等等,原谅我打错了字。我说的是驻外分社的猫(bureau cats)。

It’s become a tradition of sorts at The New York Times: far-flung foreign correspondents who populate their sometimes isolated outposts — from Kabul and Baghdad to Cairo and Dakar, in bureaus that often consist of only one or two journalists and occasionally their families — with local feline companions.

这变成了《纽约时报》的某种传统:远派的外国记者——从喀布尔和巴格达,到开罗和达喀尔,这些地方的分社往往不大,只有一两个新闻记者,偶尔有家属——会养一些当地的猫伴侣,来壮大他们有时地处一隅的新闻前哨站。

Michael Slackman, The Times’s international editor, took on two Egyptian strays during a five-year stint as bureau chief in Cairo: Yodarella and Spunky. (“Spunky,” he said, “is my soul mate.”)

《纽约时报》的国际主编迈克尔·斯莱克曼(Michael Slackman)在开罗担任分社社长的五年时间里,收养了两只埃及流浪猫:尤达里拉(Yodarella)和斯潘基(Spunky)。(他说:“斯潘基是我的灵魂伴侣。”)

Jack Healy, a correspondent in Baghdad from 2010 to 2012, repatriated to a post in Denver with an Iraqi feral, Malicki, in tow.

杰克·希利(Jack Healy)2010年至2012年在巴格达当记者,后来他带着一只伊拉克野猫马利茨基(Malicki)回到了丹佛的岗位上。

And Walt Baranger, who circled the globe many times over as a news technology editor for The Times, returned from helping establish a bureau in Kabul in 2001 with a stray named Purdah.

沃尔特·巴朗杰(Walt Baranger)作为《纽约时报》新闻技术编辑常常满世界跑,2001年帮忙组建了喀布尔分社后,他带着一只名叫佩德(Purdah)的流浪猫回国。

To date, Dionne Searcey, the West Africa bureau chief, has adopted two cats: Muus (which means “cat” in Wolof, the lingua franca in Senegal) and Spotty/Dotty. (In case you’re wondering, the slash is voiced — as in, “Spotty Slash Dotty.”)

迄今为止,西非分社社长迪翁·瑟西(Dionne Searcey)已经收养了两只猫:穆希(Muus,沃洛夫语中“猫”的意思,这是塞内加尔的通用语)和斯波蒂·萨拉希·多蒂(Spotty/ Dotty,斜杠需要发音,念作“Spotty Slash Dotty”)。

Muus spends his days roaming the top of the walls that enclose the bureau, gingerly navigating the broken glass, set into mortar, that’s meant to deter would-be intruders.

穆希喜欢在分社的围墙上走来走去,小心翼翼地穿过墙头镶嵌的用来防盗的玻璃渣。

Spotty/Dotty, on the other hand, has a penchant for sprawling across laps and desks.

而斯波蒂·萨拉希·多蒂则喜欢在膝盖和桌子之间游荡。

“Mostly they’re here to help our three kids feel comfortable,” said Ms. Searcey, who described the streets in Dakar as littered with strays.

瑟西女士说:“他们在这里主要是帮助我们的三个孩子感到舒心。”她说达喀尔的街道上有很多流浪动物。

But adopting the cats has also, in part, been a response to a nagging sense of powerlessness, she said. “At least I can make one little difference for a street cat.”

她说,收养猫咪的另一个原因是令人不安的无能为力感。“至少我可以为流浪猫做一点什么。”

“For me, it was an emotional crutch,” Mr. Healy said, noting that the Baghdad bureau had a large assortment of yowly street cats.

“对我来说,这是一种情感上的支撑,”希利说。他表示巴格达分社有一大群喵喵叫的流浪猫。

“There’s just something about coming across an affectionate animal, wherever you are. And I think that’s heightened when you’re in an unfamiliar environment.”

“无论你身在何处,都会遇到一只充满深情的动物。我想,当你处于一个陌生的环境中时,更是如此。”

“Plus, you can’t pet your colleagues.”

“还有,你不能抚摸你的同事。”

Mr. Baranger, who retired in late 2016 after 27 years at The Times, witnessed the bureau cat phenomenon in several countries.

2016年年底,在时报工作了27年的巴朗杰退休。他见证了好几个驻外分社的养猫现象。

“Usually what happened was: You got strays, and if you feed them once, that’s it.”

“通常的情况是:你遇到流浪猫,并且喂了它们一次,这事情就成了。”

The golden age of “the cat thing,” as Mr. Baranger calls it, started with Jane Scott-Long and her husband, John Burns. Sent to India in the 1990s, the couple began adopting cats and dogs en masse; they eventually went through the trouble of sending some of the animals back to their home country of England and, later, to foster families in the United States.

被巴朗杰称作“猫事”的黄金时代始于简·斯科特-隆(Jane Scott-Long)和她的丈夫约翰·伯恩斯(John Burns)。90年代派驻印度后,这对夫妇开始同时收养猫和狗。他们历经困难,最终把其中一些猫狗送回他们的祖国英格兰,后来又送到美国的领养家庭。

“After 9/11, we built up the bureau in Islamabad, and John and Jane moved in,” Mr. Baranger said. “And Islamabad has a whole bunch of strays living in the woods — so, naturally, Jane took to feeding them.”

“9·11之后,我们建立了伊斯兰堡分社,约翰和简去了那里,”巴朗杰说。“伊斯兰堡的树林里生活着大量流浪动物,于是,简自然又开始喂它们。”

Ms. Scott-Long, who was the bureau manager in Islamabad, Kabul and Baghdad, carried on the cat tradition in Baghdad when The Times established the bureau in 2003. There, the compound was home to as many as 60 cats at a time, later prompting Mr. Burns to write an essay for the Week in Review titled “What Cats Know About War.”

时报2003年建立巴格达分社时,曾担任伊斯兰堡、喀布尔和巴格达分社经理的斯科特-隆女士延续了养猫的传统。在巴格达,分社所在的院子里一度生活着60只猫,后来还促使伯恩斯为《一周回顾》(Week in Review)写了一篇题为《猫对战争知道些什么》(What Cats Know About War)的文章。

“As The Times’s bureau chief, part of my routine was to ask, each night, how many cats we had seated for dinner,” he wrote. “In a place where we could do little else to relieve the war’s miseries, the tally became a measure of one small thing we could do to favor life over death.”

“作为时报分社的社长,我日常工作的一部分是,每天晚上询问我们给多少只猫安排了晚餐,”他写道。“在一个我们几乎做不了其他什么来缓解战争苦难的地方,这种统计成了衡量我们可以通过一个小小的举动来保护生命、对抗死亡的手段。”

Mr. Baranger remembers it all too well. “At that point, in Baghdad, there were bombs going off several times a day, sometimes killing dozens of people at time,” he explained. “The cats were a catharsis. You were able to take care of them. You knew you were making a difference.”

对于这一切,巴朗杰记得非常清楚。“那时,在巴格达,一天会出现好几次炸弹爆炸的情况,有时候会导致数十人死亡,”他解释说。“养猫是一种情感宣泄。你有能力照顾它们。你知道自己带来了不同。”

“And it took your mind off the war for a while,” he said.

“而且它会让你的大脑在一段时间里不去想战争,”他说。

Of course, falling for a local cat’s charms, in situ, is one thing. Carrying a cat thousands of miles home, at the end of one’s foreign posting, is something else entirely.

当然,在驻地被当地一只猫的魅力所吸引是一回事,而驻外任期结束时,千里迢迢地把猫带回家则完全是另一回事。

But foreign correspondents often feel they have no choice — despite the fact that the return trip is rarely easy, for the cats or their owners.

但驻外记者常常觉得自己别无选择,尽管回程之旅并不容易,不管是对猫还是它们的主人来说都是如此。

Mr. Healy’s westward transit was particularly traumatic. After spending hours obtaining what amounted to “an Iraqi exit visa for cats,” he was mercilessly clawed and bitten when officials insisted that he remove Malicki from her cage at a security check. He eventually checked into a Denver emergency room and was given an IV.

希利回到西方的过程尤其痛苦。他先是花了好几个小时,才拿到相当于“伊拉克猫出境签证”的东西。之后,在一个安检处,当官员坚持要求他把马利茨基从笼子里抱出来时,猫无情地对他又抓又咬。他最后去了丹佛的一个急诊室,接受静脉注射。

“My hands were completely destroyed: puncture wounds, bites,” he said.

“我的双手伤痕累累:穿刺伤,咬伤,”他说。

But Malicki has since settled into her Rocky Mountain lifestyle with aplomb — though “she’s still the same gluttonous beast she was back in Iraq,” Mr. Healy said.

不过,马利茨基已经泰然自若地适应了落基山的生活方式,尽管“她还是当年伊拉克的那只馋嘴猫”,希利说。

Adam Nossiter, a Paris-based correspondent who preceded Ms. Searcey as West Africa chief, also made off with his bureau cat.

在瑟西之前担任西非分社社长的驻巴黎记者亚当·诺西特(Adam Nossiter),也是带着猫一起离开的。

“It’s been a difficult transition for him,” said Mr. Nossiter, referring to Louis, a stray African cat he adopted during his stint in Dakar. (Louis is named after Saint-Louis, the Senegalese city.)

“对他来说,这是一种艰难的转变,”诺西特指的是他在驻达喀尔期间收养的非洲流浪猫路易(Louis,这个名字源自塞内加尔城市圣路易)。

“He’s used to spending his days outside: chasing lizards, climbing the mango tree. Now he lives in an apartment in the First Arrondissement, in the heart of the fashion district.”

“他习惯了整天泡在外面:追蜥蜴,爬芒果树。现在,他住在巴黎一区的一套公寓里,处在时尚地带的核心区。”

“He can go out on the balcony and observe the Chanel workshop across the street,” he added with a laugh, “but it’s not quite the same thing.”

“他可以出来到阳台上,观察街对面的香奈儿(Chanel)工坊,”他大笑着继续说道,“但还是不太一样。”

As for opting to bring Louis along when he and his family departed from Senegal, there was never any question.

对于选择在自己和家人离开塞内加尔时带上路易,从来没有出现任何疑问。

“I’m extremely fond of him,” Mr. Nossiter said, “and he’s an indispensable part of the household.”

“我非常喜欢他,”诺西特说,“他是家里不可或缺的一份子。”

“And the kids would have revolted, anyway.”

“至少,不带上他孩子们会造反的。”

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