Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
the near side of the river, the water looks calm as a pond at dawn. Twenty
feet out, however, the current starts rushing by at quite a clip, and
it doesn't appear to let up until the far bank, sixty or seventy feet
The disastrous crossing, Fup will argue later, is entirely her fault.
If she hadn't been preoccupied with her own worries, surely she'd have
vetoed Bear's plan. Wiggums and Fup crossing atop the horse maybe.
But Bear riding Zooey? It's right up there with wandering away from the
van in Philly while Clara was still stuck inside.
Joe enters the rough water and quickly steadies himself. Easy enough
for a big, strong horse. "Giddyap!" Wiggums shouts.
Zooey follows a safe distance behind with Bear on his back, holding onto
his collar. The current, once he enters it, pushes him downriver, but
he's spent too much of his life in water to be bothered. Faced forward,
aimed at the opposite bank, he paddles after Joe. "Yee-haw!" Bear exclaims,
raising a paw in the air.
"Hold on!" Zooey warns him, but water floods his open mouth as he speaks.
He coughs, and Bear grabs tighter, digging claws into Zooey's back. Zooey
yelps, swallowing more water. He's half-choking, fighting to regain his
breath, when an eddy turns him backwards in the water. Now the current
rushes up his nose and over his snout. By the time he's able to clear
his throat and breathe (it seems like forever to Fup, who's trying frantically
to watch without falling off the horse and into the river, herself), they're
hundreds of feet downriver and rushing toward a massive jam of logs and
branches. A beaver dam.
They're headed straight for it, while the beavers madly slap their tails
in the water, screaming, "No!"
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.