• I do not know your name
    a number, perhaps
    One zero one one zero one one
    Or were you merely Miss F. catus?

    Acetyl fumes
    burning nose and eyes
    veins and arteries dyed
    red for arteries
    veins are blue

    Rigor and mortis claim your skin
    Eyes rolled back; jaw locked
    Did you have friends?
    Lovers? Children?

    Whiskers and fur still intact
    Two eyes, two ears
    a nose
    and a mouth
    Elegant arching of the back

    Latex and metal
    My scalpel is sharp
    Dermis breaks; flesh peels away
    You are dead; cannot feel
    What is the logic makes this okay?

    For what reason did you die, do you know?
    Is it for the same reason you were born?
    Cells, tissues, bones, and viscera
    Killed for a cause beyond your grasp

    Were you dead when you were injected?
    Did you feel any pain?
    Were you scared? Did you hiss, claw, bite?
    Did they wait for the euthanasia to take effect before your fluids were drained?

    In another life, you might have been a pet
    Stroked, named, adored to that effect
    You lay skinless now, eyes still wide
    Each muscle separated and defined

    A specimen of science
    A child of the earth
    A living creature
    Animalia chordata mammalia carnivora
    A miracle of birth

    Please don’t be angry, feel no pain, no strife
    Your death was not entirely in vain
    From the sum of your parts we gain an understanding
    A clue to the vast mystery of life

    And maybe one day
    No more cats will have to die

    - -

    Poem ended up there. Author's comment (apparently too wordy) goes here.
    True story. In my bio lab on Monday, I was forced to do the unthinkable. I was forced to skin a cat. Now, see here, I'm not squeamish, not one bit. I would have been fine had my specimen been a human. I have pet cat at home. I understand that research and study are necessary, but this experience really made me consider the ethics of the science I love.

    I understand completely that I am not a good poet. I don't even really write poetry. My rhyme scheme is wack and my words could have been more carefully chosen, but the deep sorrow and compassion that drove me to write this tribute, not only for this specific cat, but for every animal that must live to die for science, is not at all lacking.

    /sappy x'D