The Collector

She is 65, locked up until $35,000
or answers cross the desk.
The authorities, her friends say,
had been alerted. The authorities,
said the authorities, had been "working on it."
Breeder by breeder, she filled her shelves.

Of the living (one hundred and sixty cats,
one hundred and six dogs, thirty-one birds)
most were licensed, legally hers.
The dogs lived as families in automobiles
in the yard. The birds nested in silky tangles
of fur and strips of newspaper.

When the authorities
did come, they found her asleep,
head on her paws, curled up
on two large storage bins
of cat carcasses.
The authorities counted
at least 200 dead.

"These were not strays. She purchased them from pet stores and breeders. She collected them like some people collect fine china."

The story here.

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