The Good, the Bad, and the Hungry Sale
 
 

Pets


Indiespensable

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Fup. Store Cat.

The Trip to Kahani  
Chapter 8

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
bear
Zooey
zooey

see Fup's photo album

To be safe, they slip out of the pet store a full hour before the morning managers will arrive. In the early, ochre light the three of them tramp past the medical offices and knickknack shops east of the mall, past the gas stations, the fast food joints, and the auto parts store, and beyond, into the woods.

Off the sidewalks at last, Zooey races ahead to blaze trail, sniffing and peeing on trees. Now and then the cats lose sight of him and pause to listen for his jingling tags. Which is exactly what happens as they're approaching the cul-de-sac: the big yellow dog disappears over a hill, but this time they can't hear his tags — not because he's run off, but because he's stopped. Before they see the animal control officer, they're practically on top of him: the uniformed man stands in front of Zooey, interrogating him, fifteen feet from the trees. Fup and Bear scramble for cover.

"What are they talking about?" Bear asks. "I can't hear."

The officer (his stitched-on nametag reads "Hal") starts toward his van. Zooey follows. Wagging, slightly.

"He's got it under control," Fup murmurs.

Officer Hal pauses beside the van, but soon enough Zooey leads him toward a house across the street. He lumbers up the front porch stairs and drinks from a large bowl situated alongside the welcome mat. He stops drinking, starts again, then pauses a moment, chin-over-bowl, as if to gauge whether some part of his thirst might remain unquenched. Satisfied, he climbs into an armchair overlooking the street and settles into its cushions.

Hal rings the doorbell, but no one answers. No dog barks. Zooey feigns sleep.

"We should nap here," Zooey will suggest later, after the officer has gone and it's just he and two cats now on somebody's covered porch. "I hardly slept last night, what with all those mewling puppies." Zooey still in the armchair, the plush, comfortable chair. But of course they can't stay. The dog that lives here could return any minute. Besides, they've still miles to go before they reach Wiggums's farm.

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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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