Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
The railway line cuts a perfect path due east over hill and dell. For almost two
hours now (and several miles), no train has forced the animals off its track.
Fup tells Zooey, "When warmer weather finally came, Penny began spending most
of the day outside. It wasn't long before she ran into Bruno. Penny wasn't shy.
My Aunt Orono used to joke about how strategically Penny sought him out that
spring not that Penny ever denied it. She'd mooned over him all winter,
the story goes."
Bear, meanwhile, bounding gymnastically from tie to tie so that his paws never
land on the gravel between, interrupts to answer the question he knows Zooey
wants to ask. He explains, "Bruno had dragged himself out from under the shed
and gone back to his house, just like Penny's brother had supposed."
"Oh, right," Fup remembers. "I skipped that part."
"Basically," Bear continues, summarizing, moving things along to the juicy
part, "Penny began meeting Bruno more and more, in one hideaway or another.
Clandestine couplings behind the woodpile or in the loft of the Leeman's barn,
that sort of thing. They were gaga over each other. But Penny told only Orono
she knew their parents and brothers would disapprove so the rest
of her family had no idea that by August Penny and Bruno had become inseparable."
"Which is when Orono announced she was moving to Ohio with her boyfriend,"
Fup adds. "And under different circumstances, maybe Penny could have managed
without her." She pauses and motions to be still. The murmuring track warns
of an approaching train. "A couple weeks later, she and Bruno might have gone
with Orono to Ohio. But Penny didn't know yet that she was pregnant. With me
and my sisters, as it turned out."
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.