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Friday, July 14, 2006


by Rochelle Ratner

He might look like Felix, but really he's a pit bull in
disguise. Look closely at the black and white markings. If
you can get close, that is. It's a familiar story – his Tabby
mother abandoned him when he wasn't even a week old.
He scavenged the neighborhood and discovered a pit bull
with six teats and a litter of only four who was willing to
let him nurse. Maybe some of her fury was sucked in with
the milk. Maybe it was his natural mother's fault for
abandoning him. But he feels the need to prowl and protect
along with his adopted family. His hiss can sound like a
growl if he sucks in his breath and blows hard. Plus he has
something they don't have: extremely long claws. Six on
each paw. That can't be right. No. He counts again. Oh god,
he's deformed. So that's why his mother stopped washing
him. He sucks in an extra-deep breath and bounds toward
the Avon Lady.

Rochelle Ratner's books include two novels: Bobby's Girl (Coffee House Press, 1986) and The Lion's Share (Coffee House Press, 1991) and sixteen poetry books, including House and Home (Marsh Hawk Press, 2003) and Beggars at the Wall (Ikon, October 2005). More information and links to her writing on the Internet can be found on her homepage: