Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
was it that she left you?" a spindly sapling asks.
"Where else?" Fup replies. "A gas station. And just a day's walk from
"But how did you find her?" the ferns want to know.
"We knew her address from the care packages she'd sent us at the post
Every day of the trip, or so it seems to Fup, a new realization dawns;
some peripheral blur sharpens into broad relief. Tonight, it's this: that
beneath the canopy of trees it never really rains; branches simply feed
the forest floor what they don't keep for themselves. In the squat cave
of an old, toppled fir, Bear assures her that she's told her story well.
And what difference does it make if some tree decides to record it for
posterity? "Putting the story to paper won't change anything," Bear reminds
her. "You should know that better than anyone, living among so many books
that no one ever reads."
The bookstore! To be curled up right now in the stacks instead of here
in the cold, wet woods... Suddenly it's all Fup can do to keep from starting
back toward the city. What difference does it make what the trees decide? Penny and Bruno passed on years ago. A book won't bring them
And still, logic be damned, she'd never have come all this way if it
made no difference at all. Didn't her sisters want her to? Didn't they
urge her to try? Ro and Clara: back in the city all this time minding
their kids while Fup's off traipsing through the hills.
"It's a marker," Fup reflects. "It's something tangible to leave behind."
The wind howls. The trees confer.
That Cat That Changed My Life: 50 Cats Talk About How They Became Who They Are
by Bruce Eric Kaplan
"All these cats lead exciting and varied lives wholly independent of the human
race," notes the editor in his Introduction. Well, duh. Scant attention has
been paid to the role of community in modern cat culture, so what a relief that
here, finally, fifty articulate felines set the record straight. Funny, sad,
occasionally shocking, but never less than true, these brave monologues
reaffirm our interdependency in ways that choreographed public displays such as
Paws Across America never can.
Poems by Writers' Dogs
by Amy Hempel
In "Dog Kibble," Tasha Baxter's verse exhibits a brutal economy of
words: "Life is never meaningless," her villanelle announces, "there is
always food." Here and throughout this collection these authors demand
your attention, as if to bark, "You can send me to my room for yelling
at the neighbors but you cannot silence what woofs in my heart!" Among
the selections nominated for Best
American Writing by Pets 2000 are Bob Barker Barry's sordid and hilarious
hallucinogenic escapades with Lynda; a tragic, posthumous prose poem by
Marrow Irving; and Sadie Louise Lamott's "Spoon River Sadie Louise," a
wildly metered exploration of the cross-cultural dynamics within a
household occupied by dogs, cats, birds, and small children. The sheer
intellect of these collected pieces will renew your faith in dogs.
Is Your Cat Too Fat?
by Bronwen Meredith
Too fat for what? And what business is it of this Meredith person's
anyway? Bronwen sounds like the kind of lady I wouldn't like at all.