Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
"Postmaster Warren had worked the counter of the Waldo County post office
since four cents would buy a first class stamp," Fup explains to the
camping couple, catching them up on the story of her family's passage out
"Hold on just one second," the man interrupts, retrieving a log from
Zooey's pile and placing it carefully atop the burning kindling. "Sorry,"
he apologizes. "Please, go on."
The new log catches and a fat orange flame wags above the wood.
Fup continues, "Anyway, Mr. Warren had been working there for as long as
anyone could remember. He liked to impress tourists passing through to the
coast by guessing their hometown zip code to the third or fourth digit. But
for all he'd learned from maps and postmarks, he hadn't left his home state
since the fifties."
How to explain the mood inside the mail truck? Speeding south along the
turnpike with Warren at the wheel, Fup and her sisters had no idea where
they were going. If their parents knew, they weren't saying. But somehow it
didn't seem so frightening, not at first.
In the post office, Warren listened to the radio all day. First thing upon
his arrival each morning, he'd turn on the local station, and Tom and
Carol's familiar voices would fill the front room. Riding in the back of
the truck, aside from the rattling and the turning and the roar of the road
beneath them, well, how different was it? Warren talked back to Tom and
Carol as he always did, and sang along with the occasional old records they
Until, near Brunswick, when the reception began to fade. By the time they
reached Yarmouth, Warren could barely fish a word or two from the static.
"We listened to static all the way into New Hampshire," Fup remembers. "It
wasn't until we'd crossed the big green bridge out of Maine that Mr. Warren
finally switched off the radio. 'Take care, Tom,' we heard him mumble up in
the front seat. 'So long, Carol.' And for the rest of the drive he never
turned on the radio again."
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.