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Fup. Store Cat.

Chapter 148

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.
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Tourists swarming Pearl District sidewalks. City streets crawling with cars. Another Oregon summer. Fup scoots along the edge of buildings, over stoops and around planters, minding doors and clumsy feet as she passes each threshold, wondering foremost whether Ryan had any luck on the river — will there be fish for the party tonight? — when she hears someone call her name.

"Fup?"

The voice familiar. A young woman's, somewhere ahead along the block.

Birch woods. The stonemason's chimney. Mosquitoes around the tire swing. Sisters in pigtails.

"1991," Fup will tell her guests this evening back at the store. Not for the first time, they'll do the math and marvel. "Penny lived down the road in Maine."

But in the moment, here on Flanders Street, before Fup identifies her old neighbor — despite shorter hair, smarter clothes, and contacts (Fup assumes) in place of her sibling's hand-me-down frames, it's indisputably Penny — her legs nearly give out, her head swirls close to bursting. Sixteen years bridged in an instant, by a word she's heard thousands of times, her own name. Across a continent, through a life's collected memories. All it took was a voice.

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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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