By – Elizabeth Barrette

I am tabby, distant kin of the ounce.
Though scientists made me to be their tool,
I am no leaf in some genetic pool.
They are the ones, someday, I shall denounce.
My whiskers arch; I tense; at last I pounce!
The mouse I catch is plastic, smooth and cool.
It gives me pleasure. Don’t call me a fool.
I know myself – a self – and that’s what counts.

Come feed me, scientist! Come clean my mess!
Then let me return to my avatar.
(The stealthy hunter leaves a false address.)
Across these screens, I roam where mountains are,
Gray tabby descended of ounce, oh yes –
Descended, perhaps, not so very far.

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