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Fup. Store Cat.

The Trip to Kahani  
Chapter 31

In Loving Memory
Fup. Store Cat.
1988 — 2007

fup 18 fup 19
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Fup. Store Cat.
Fup watercolor courtesy of reader Linda McDougall. Click here for a larger view.
Bear
bear
Zooey
zooey

see Fup's photo album

Zooey 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."

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The Trip to Kahani

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Fup's Picks

That Cat That Changed My Life: 50 Cats Talk About How They Became Who They Are 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.

Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs Unleashed: 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?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.

 

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