Sunday, May 23, 2021

A Model Species

Zebra finches, sea slugs, rabbits,
And roundworms all serve. Guinea pigs,
Pigeons, and rats seem the best-known,
Model models become common

Figures of speech. Fruit flies produce
Mutations. Octopi prove smart.
But here we consider the cat—
Not a well-regarded model,

Yet perfect for our purposes—
A predator and a dreamer,
Most playful when most ruthless but
Self-domesticated—like us.

Cats can wreck an ecosystem.
Cats comfort the lonely and sick.
Cats can spend their whole lives indoors,
Sleeping and desperate to get out.

Cats live remarkably long lives
For their habits and size. Cats will
Get themselves killed, or disappear,
Or die slowly, year after year.

Cats can be gone in a second.
Cats can turn up, covered in dust,
Hungry, unapologetic,
Calm, or in agony, like us.

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