Once, upon a morning rainy, I regarded; wan and sleepy
thereupon a table laden with accoutrements of gore.
Craft forgotten; stood I dozing: Corpse and scalpel thence forsaking,
eyes upon a sight unnerving--one I’d never glimpsed before.
There it lay: a .png obtained from Google’s image store.
Such it was and nothing more.
How it tore my thoughts asunder; this one morning in September
her fond reminiscence tender--too insistent to ignore.
Anxiously; as I’m recalling, I awaited there for evening,
hence anticipate returning--resting tired quill and claw.
In my boredom, idly skimming Google’s offerings galore
till the page quoth 404.
Ere that error passed unbidden; journeying to realms forbidden
would I glimpse a sight uncertain--yet resounding in my core.
Even now, to quell the feeling in my being it bears describing
to such audience remaining; what phenomenon I saw
when exploring social media's caverns of unsorted lore
that shall haunt me evermore.
Thus I crave thy patience keenly while explaining picture clearly:
Arctic wildernesses dreary was the stimuli I saw.
Bleak and (honestly) foreboding monoliths of ice upsoaring
from a frozen sea uncaring; flecked in pale obsidian ore.
Apocalyptic vistas yawning wide her unaccustomed maw:
This it was and nothing more.
Yet (alas!) I lost my pleasure lighting on a short disclaimer
writ by some sadistic author in description that it bore:
Careless sentence written idly of a Challenge; stating only
'Find the unexpected kitty' somewhere in this scene I saw.
In this mission I exulted; seeking thus to prove my paw
out of pride and nothing more.
Swiftly to assignment turning, I perused its image frowning;
seeking thus to pierce the drawing and uncover what it bore.
"More than likely some illusion," thus I scoffed, "I'll see for certain
what this artist might have hidden in this lonely landscape's core.
Fool to even think of hiding any secrets from my claw!"
Minutes passed. Then minutes more.
There I stared, my soul a-quiver, part in fear and part in anger
hereupon this pet disaster: prey unto a carnivore.
Nary clue nor signal gave me; though there surely can't be any
mere illusion that could fool me--other sites had tried before.
Facebook, twitter and Discord have tried their hardest well before;
Such a puzzle thus bamboozling my poor ego into swearing
that I fain observed it speaking; mocking my perceptive flaw.
"Cat concealed within my vision, be revealed," quoth I, outspoken,
"Quit thy sanctuary as bidden--hide in icy scapes wherefore?"
Show yourself unto my gaze and leave your hiding place therefore--
No? You realize, this means war!"
Woe betide! For then; unseemly, spoke my colleague from behind me
"Do you know you talk insanely?" pointing to the screen I saw.
Admonitions great were spoken, or entreaties I've forgotten,
for my mind was rent and broken--shattered by that frozen shore.
"Kitty: Find the hidden kitty." Hours drag and pass before.
Nothing mattered anymore
"Let this be your final warning! Back to work!" My boss complaining,
shook a livid fist foreboding; though I scarcely heard or saw.
Nothing quoth by lord or lady in that moment could persuade me--
cast upon that scene ungainly of this unassuming shore:
bleak and cruel were the spires that unto gray heavens soar...
Not a single cat wherefore.
To my mind this world grew darker, losing thus its former lustre,
rigor mortis creeping closer 'pon the corpses on my floor.
"Random post!" I begged, "Absolve me! By Creator who has drawn thee!
Lend a poor mortician mercy--Show your cat to me therefore!"
Quoth the server: 404.
"Nay!" shrieked I, "Accursed devil! Photoshopped device of evil,
if thou fain cannot be civil, I now cast thee hence ashore!
Leave no .jpeg as a token of experience best forgotten!
Yield to me my peace unbroken, as I once enjoyed before...
Get ye gone!" And now superior showed me gently to the door--
Once my colleague; nevermore!
Yet this winter scene foreboding, still is present; STILL existing
trapped within a mind unseeing when I cannot a meme ignore.
Somewhere on that page uncertain lurks a feline that is hidden
and the memories unbidden tease and torment me therefore.
Tease and tear upon my soul in words writ large on screen before:
Quoth the server: 404.