Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
"I thought by the time the trunk opened I'd be in Montana," Fup tells the rapt
crowd gathered after closing: ten kittens in the aisle, behind whom on shelves
sit puppies in cages and, to the right, toward the front of the pet store, dozens
of young birds. "I clawed at the back seat for miles," Fup continues, "until
eventually I decided to let go, to just sit perfectly still and let the car
move me." She gives the kids a moment to think about stillness.
"With my eyes closed I could imagine myself floating above the ground. I fell
into a trance, from fear or peace I don't know, but when the trunk finally opened
and I leapt out there stood Bear and Zooey beside me. And we were here at the
"What's Montana?" twitter the parakeets.
"Debit or credit?!" the parrot shouts. "Debit or credit?!"
"Ignore him," Cesar's niece assures Fup. "He always has to be the center of
"Tell us the story you're bringing to the trees," an American Shorthair pleads,
"the one about your parents." She's never been allowed out of the cubicle this
late. She wants more than anything to stay up all night.
The dogs begin to perk up, wagging their tails. Across the room, fish gather
at the front edges of their tanks, floating near the top of the water,
quiet and straining to hear.
"Debit or credit?! Debit or credit?!" the parrot repeats, and Cesar's other
niece runs off to shush him.
Fup starts: "My parents met in the woods, in Maine, during an ice storm that
knocked out power across six counties for a week. Dad's legs were nearly
when Mom heard his coughing under the shed and went out with her brother to
investigate. They found my father shivering in a hole he'd dug in the dirt."
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.