The first stage is paperwork,
mostly. The pencil-faced administrator
envelops your kitchen in his binders
and plastic backed infotainments, sneezes,
and prescribes online seminars.
He hints at yet-to-come, strange realities.
Next comes the inspector, sharp-
beaked, tapping at your crevices and danger
points, your untested sockets.
She instructs you to separate food and water
so not to disappoint your guests.
She is uninterested in your logic.
If you are accepted, you will now meet
The Wrangler. She bring lasers, destruction
posts, Febreze, and an infinity of soft things.
She speaks wisely; but only to cats.
Leading you down your own hallway,
calling in bird-like tongues, she releases one,
which now is hidden in what once was your home.
The cat people will not return.
Their number disconnects, their shop does not exist.
You have lost control; you monitor
bowls and boxes. There is a beast afoot.
Do you accept these conditions?