Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
Treats for sitting and treats for staying. Zooey gets treats for offering his
paw (Dave calls it shaking), for sitting up on hind legs, and for playing dead.
Treats for bringing in the paper without tearing its plastic baggie and for delivering
slippers upon request; for stopping at street corners and waiting on storefront
curbs; for catching, for bathing, and for barking (though only once, only on command,
and only with just cause). Treats for staying off the new couch (an insipid rule,
but not worth fighting so long as the futon remains across the room), for being
nice to children, and for greeting pretty women at the park. Treats, too, for
staying out of the neighbors' flower-bed. Sometimes he gets treats for what seems
like no reason at all.
Treats throughout the day and always a full bowl of water to wash them down.
Then each day dinner served promptly at seven.
"Cats rarely return from these trips," the Doberman has warned Zooey. "They're
not like you and me. They're roamers by nature. Eventually they fall in with
other cats and never see their old neighborhood again."
Fup was born in Maine, Zooey knows. And she must have moved to Toledo for
a while because that's where she first lived in a store a shoe store.
No shortage of roaming, one could argue. But the Doberman is always mouthing
off about cats, so who's to believe him?
The forest is not so far. How far can the forest be? You can see it from the
top of Mount Tabor (when the valley between isn't soupy with clouds).
But all those treats and dinner served promptly at seven!
"We'll be back before you know it," Fup insists. "Me, you, and Bear, just
out to the forest and back."
Zooey has never left home overnight.
"We need you," Bear adds, "to blaze trails through the woods you love
to blaze trails and to befriend dogs along the way."
How far can the forest be? Zooey makes three.
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.