It is sleek, well groomed,
it has a black gloss to its fur
as it purrs out assurances,
rubs itself lovingly against the doorway
in its throat the sound of a thousand engines.

It extends a velvet paw to guests,
leaps barriers, eliciting gasps of admiration
at the agile power in its body,
its limbs a well rehearsed orchestra.
A rough tongue licks fur into line:
clean, ordered, presentable.

At night it shows another side
stalking the streets to tear the roofs
off smaller creatures’ dwellings,
claws extended to fish out prey
it toys with them, maims, feigns disinterest, releases
only to pounce once more.

The morning comes and it purrs reassurances,
its throat thick with blood.