Fup. Store Cat.
The Trip to Kahani
sad, sad," an unforgiving beaver interrupts. "But what's it got to do
with our dam? Your dog destroyed our dam!"
"We're sorry about the dam," Fup reiterates, "but we can't go back and
undo the damage, so I'm not sure exactly what you'd like us to do. Please,
if there's a way we can repay you, tell us."
The beavers caucus. As their conversation becomes heated, Fup looks to
her friends to shed some light on the situation. Zooey feels horrible,
of course; he's ready to accept whatever punishment is necessary. The
trouble is that he can't imagine what that punishment might be. If it's
just a matter of gathering sticks and downed branches, he'd be happy
They wait. The sun slips behind the western ridge, and they wait some
more. As daylight drains from the evening sky, the birds in the forest
begin to perk up. Their chatter spreads through the forest, and still
the beavers argue among themselves.
Eventually, a beaver steps apart from the circle of conversation, raises
his head, and sniffs the air. Another beaver follows. Zooey tries to catch
the scent they're tracking, but it's no use. "All I smell is big, brown
rodents," he says. The birds are practically screeching now.
"Fup," a voice suddenly calls from somewhere in the thick canopy of needles
and cones above, "you're here. You made it."
The beavers cease their jabbering immediately and turn together toward
a towering conifer forty feet from the river's bank.
"Yes," Fup mumbles. "But how..."
"A hawk listened to your story at the campfire," the fir explains. "We've
been wondering when you'd reach us."
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.