Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
Tired and dirty by mid-afternoon, no one has to ask whether to rest when
after a long uphill stretch they come upon a river. Finally, a chance to
get off their paws.
Fup sprawls across a large, flat rock. Bear approaches and without hesitation
begins to clean Fup's belly and legs.
Zooey looks away. He starts to clean himself, but his heart isn't in
it, so he stops licking and clears himself a bed of upturned dirt, instead.
Back in the city, he considers, any minute now the mailman will approach
his house and wonder where the yellow dog has gone. He moans and shuts
Miles from the city. It's real, suddenly, this undertaking. "Where are
we going to sleep tonight?" Bear wants to ask, but he holds back the question
and continues to groom Fup.
Fup counts stray clouds migrating across the sky as Bear licks and licks.
When Fup was a kitten not even a year old because this was before
her family moved to the room behind the post office, when for all Fup
knew of the world its edges might have been carved along the Waldo County
line Penny would on stormy nights groom the girls until they fell
asleep. The soothing always knocked them out. And now Zooey has nodded
off, Fup notices, recognizing his soft snore.
Bear shifts forward and starts cleaning Fup's shoulders and head; he
grooms Fup's neck and, finally, her favorite, her ears, until she can't
help it, why bother, she gives herself over to sleep.
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.