Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
manages to steer out of the faster current, but his momentum carries him
and Bear straight into the dam, loosing logs and breaking branches in
a clumsy, noisy crash. They grab for hold on the wet bark, breaking the
dam further in the process.
"Hooligans!" a beaver shouts. Another rushes out from the bank. "Home
wreckers!" Bear scampers to safety along the top of the dam while Zooey
pushes himself back into the water and swims the last ten feet to shore.
"Wait!" Fup tells the beavers, racing through the ferns and grasses along
the riverbank. "It's my fault! He was carrying Bear across the river to
help us get to Kahani!" Much apologizing follows, but why should they
forgive her? She begins to tell the beavers her story: About sleeping
under a postal truck that second night her family spent in Philadelphia,
their first night without Clara. Fup explains, "It hadn't really occurred
to me before, but we'd never spent a night apart."
The previous night, they'd slept inside Warren's truck. Bruno and Penny
shared the passenger's seat up front, as had become the couple's habit,
while Fup slept with Ro and Clara in the bed they'd made from empty mailbags
wedged between the back door and the metal grate meant to keep packages
from sliding out. But that was before Warren left them stranded.
In the abutting park, leaves rustled; voices rose and fell with people's
passing. Cars idled at the streetlight by the hotel entrance, ominous
and low. Harrumphing trucks and phlegmy buses rumbled past. Shortly after
dark, a crowd of Saturday drinkers exited the bar up the block chanting,
"Hoagies! Hoagies! Hoagies!"
For hours Penny and Bruno talked, feigning composure for the sake of
Fup and Ro. "Mr. Warren will send Clara to meet us in Ohio," they insisted,
and Fup believed them: Clara would be fine. They would all be fine. This
was really no big deal, except the noise and the pebbly, oily pavement.
Fup burrowed her head into Ro's stomach to quiet the noises around her.
Soon enough she drifted off to sleep.
"Sometime later," Fup tells the beavers, "a siren woke me up. I opened
my eyes, and swirling orange light was coloring the ground on the street-side
of the van. Ro lay still on the other side of me, wide awake. It wasn't
cold out, but she was shivering, which seemed strange. The orange light
disappeared and suddenly it got very dark. When the sound of the siren
faded, that's when I heard Penny crying."
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.