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Fup. Store Cat.

Chapter 96

In Loving Memory
Fup. Store Cat.
1988 — 2007

fup 18 fup 19
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Fup. Store Cat.
Fup watercolor courtesy of reader Linda McDougall. Click here for a larger view.
Bear
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Zooey
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see Fup's photo album

Attendance at Store Pet Camp peaked in 2003. Record demand that summer convinced organizers to cap enrollment at forty. Fewer students would mean a more competitive admissions process and a return to intimate lecture environments, went the thinking. No one realized at the time that a bunk would be freed of overnight guests, which turned out to be the real boon of downsizing — what used to be Hobbes Cabin now serves as the camp's official souvenir shop and interactive lab.

Two women enter the shop. Fup and her campers observe from behind a mirrored window. One woman heads straight for a carousel of T-shirts; the other circles among accessories cases, past collars, blankets, and bowls.

One minute passes. Two.

"Who's on shift?" Fup asks.

"Niles," comes a camper's reply.

The T-shirt shopper selects an item. She finds her friend by the training videos, and together they head for the registers.

Fup hears their shrieking, sees their terrorized faces, before she spots Niles by the front counter, entangled already in the women's legs. Maybe the public isn't ready for a store snake.

"What did he do wrong?" Fup asks.

"Always make yourself known from a distance. Don't sneak up."

"Don't sneak up," Fup confirms. "Very good."

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The Trip to Kahani

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Fup's Picks

That Cat That Changed My Life: 50 Cats Talk About How They Became Who They Are 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.

Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs Unleashed: 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?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.

 

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