The Cat 7

This cartel of cats, this “Cat 7,”
this parliament of robber barons,
gathering in an uneasy peace,
waits for the decision maker
on the other side of the deal
to agree to their terms.

They demand recognition upon entry.
each in turn and in order.
They don’t ask if you’ve agreed
but assume that you have
and scold you
for not having yet satisfied
your side of the bargain.

They face you courageously
while assessing exits and ambush
points, the probability of conflict,
the general political and physical situations;
and they’ll run if it looks like they’ll lose
in order to fight again another day.

No matter how frightened they are,
no matter what your means
of intimidation, you will
not bend them to your will; but
if you convince them, using
good manners, respecting them,
and not saying too much,
that what you want is in line
with what they want,
they will cooperate,
so long as it’s understood
that the terms will always be theirs
and that they can change the terms
with a flick of the tail, a swat,
plastered down ears,
or a narrowing of the eyes
to then strut away like some
runway super model, but with
more grace and more humility.

For, though they are an oligarchy,
each a celebrity at all times;
and though they have manifest poise,
are fastidious, sleek, and magnetic
these cats don’t have a single
shock of hubris
running through their
spectacular fur.