Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
If one tree talked to Joe, does that mean all the others were listening? Are they
listening now? Fup has no idea. In every direction, tree trunks sentry the hills,
stretching two and four and sometimes even six feet across at the base before
tapering into the sky.
The hiking has become second nature, or maybe it's adrenaline pushing
them forward now. "I didn't even plan to come on this trip," Wiggums says
as they crest a hill. "No one back in Boring is going to believe this.
I mean, what kind of urban, intellectual freaks pilgrimage to the mountains
to talk to a patch of storytelling trees?"
"You're having the time of your life," Bear reminds Wiggums.
"Beside the point, entirely."
Zooey and Joe lead the cats down into the next valley. Sheltered from
wind again, Fup finds a flat rock. She sits, not to revive her legs so
much as her mind.
Bark of the cedars runs up the trunk. Bark on silver firs twists lightly
round and round. What do they look like at the top from up close? Fup
can't possibly imagine. It's enough to cope with what she can see.
Zooey turns and finds the cats have stopped. He doubles back along the
trail, almost tripping up Joe in the process, but the horse doesn't particularly
mind. Joe's just happy to be in the woods without his nagging sister around.
"This isn't my typical day, either," he acknowledges.
Knuckled roots grip the earth beside Fup. She extrapolates down, imagining
how deep each one must reach, snaking around rock, shouldering through
the dark to stake a place for itself underground, worlds away from the
tree's top branches. Like a family scattering, she thinks, spreading thinner
all the time.
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.