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Warm breath from a heating vent,
Clean sheets and hot food.
The low rumble of daily life
Kept Catherine satisfied.
A sudden magnetic force
Pulled her gaze from her lifelong daydream
Into the dark slits of a stranger’s eyes.
His unblinking stare tugged at Catherine
From down on the asphalt,
Whispering an ancient truth
About the world beyond walls.
Catherine hesitated, then slipped through a crack
In her mother’s attention.
Greeted by a breeze,
She breathed deep of freedom
Amongst rustling leaves
But the wind brought night,
Haunted with industrial thunderclouds.
Cold headlights glanced off her shelter
Into the torrential rain,
Rotten redwood filled her lungs.
Catherine shuddered deep and awaited death,
When familiar hands swept her from the mud.
Homeward bound, her gratitude soared-
As she glanced over her mother’s shoulder
And caught two glinting orbs under a dim streetlight.
Catherine felt her world crumple like yesterday’s news
Because the stranger in black reminded her
There's no such thing as an indoor cat.