5200 rue Chabot, Montreal, QC
The gathering took place at my living room table with the aquarium to my right, the fish attentively lined up in a row with their faces pointed towards me in anticipation. The cat sat on the table, to my left, dispassionately licking his paws.
Me [lowering my gavel]: Alright then, as everyone appears to be present, we shall now come to order. As you are aware, we are here today because, upon your request, I have agreed to adjudicate over a dispute between Mr Cat here and you fish. By the way, is it okay with you fish if I simply refer to you as “you fish” because it’s a real pain in the ass for me to reel off all your names each time?
Cocksucker [after huddling for a few moments with the other fish]: Well, okay, the others agree. However, if you address us individually, can we please be referred to as Mr or Miss if that thing sitting over there is going to have the courtesy of being called “Mr Cat”?
Mr Cat [hissing indignantly]: Who are you calling a “thing”, you cocksucker?!
Me [raising a hand]: Relax, Mr Cat. Miss Cocksucker’s request is a perfectly reasonable one.
Miss Cocksucker [scratching the back of her head with a fin and frowning]: You know, “Miss Cocksucker” still doesn’t sound very dignified. Why did you have to name me that anyway?
Me [sighing]: We’ve been over this before. You’re a Pleco – you suck on everything in the aquarium, including cock.
Mr Cat: Ha! Ha! Ha! That’s for sure!
Mr Anal Intruder [quietly chastising Miss Cocksucker]: At least he didn’t name you “Anal Intruder”, like me.
Miss Cocksucker [rubbing her chin]: I guess, but still –
Mr Cat [interrupting]: Ha! Ha! Ha! “Mr Anal Intruder”! Love it!
Me [hammering on the gavel]: Order! Order! I will not tolerate you laughing at the plaintiffs, Mr Cat. Now listen, you fish, I have even-handedly named you in accordance with your sexual proclivities and/or homicidal tendencies. Isn’t that so, Mr Felcher and Miss Jack the Ripper? As for you, Mr Cat, I named you Cat because… well… because you’re just a damned cat.
Miss Jack the Ripper: You should have named him “Neutered Cat”!
Miss Cocksucker: Ha! Ha! Ha! Yeah, no one’s going to be sucking your cock anytime soon, Mr Cat! Ha!
Mr Cat [hissing, lunging across the table and shoving his paw, claws out, deep into the aquarium]: Why you revolting little shits… I’ll kill all of you!!!
Me [furiously hauling Mr Cat from the aquarium by the scruff of the neck]: You sit down where you were and behave, Mr Cat!!! As for you fish – while I’m presiding over these proceedings you will behave too! That means no fornicating or attempted murders of any kind. Got it, everyone?! Good! Jeesh! Now, let’s get down to business. We are here today to resolve this issue of –
Mr Cat [at me in a surly tone]: What about you?
Me [defensively]: What about me?
Mr Cat: We’ve all witnessed what you get up to in your bedroom and yet you get a real name. You get to be called Andrew.
The Fish [clapping their fins in unison]: Yeah!!!
Me [haughtily]: I don’t know what you’re talking about, Mr Cat. And stop encouraging him, you fish! I’m named Andrew because I am a human being, blessed with the faculties of rational thought, powers of deductive reasoning and so on and so forth. This is exactly why I have been chosen to be the arbiter of this dispute. So, there! Now let’s get on with the business at hand. We have met here today because-
Mr Cat: Um, Mr Andrew, Miss Jack the Ripper just murdered Miss Teabagger…
Me [exasperated and throwing my hands up in the air]: What the…! Miss Jack the Ripper, why did you go and do that?! For the love of…. didn’t I just clearly lay down the ground rules for you damn fish?! I mean, really!!!
Miss Jack the Ripper [contritely]: Sorry, I just got caught up in the emotion of it all and felt an irresistible urge to eviscerate Miss Teabagger.
Me: I swear to God, the casualty rates were lower for World War I fighter pilots than with you fish! Now cut it out! Go ahead, Mr Cat – you may as well eat Miss Teabagger floating on the surface there.
Mr Cat [strutting over to the aquarium and popping Miss Teabagger’s mutilated carcass into his mouth]: With pleasure! Yum! This wasn’t a total waste of time after all.
Me [sighing deeply]: Okay, now you fish have launched a formal complaint against Mr Cat. From the written submissions of both parties I can see that-
Mr Cat [interrupting]: Um, Mr Andrew, Miss Cocksucker is sucking Mr Hung like a Horse’s cock…
Me: Gaaaaaa!! What’s wrong with you people?!
Miss Cocksucker: Shut up, Mr Neutered Cat!!!
Mr Cat [hissing, lunging across the table and shoving his head and paws, claws out, deep into the aquarium]: That’s it, you cocksucker!!! Teabagger was an okay appetizer – but you are the main course!!!
Me [furiously hauling Mr Cat from the aquarium by the scruff of the neck]: Stop this!!! Stop this, at once!!! All of you!!!
My roommate, Morgan [coming through the front door]: Hi Andrew! Um – why are all of your daughter’s old fish bath toys spread out all over the table? And… and… what’s up with the soaking wet cat stuffy?
Me [concentrating on the table as if it were a chess board and raising a hand]: Not now, Morgan. I am in an extremely complex dispute resolution that requires my full attention…
Morgan [backing away slowly towards the front door]: Okeeee… I’m just going to come back a little later…
Me: Now, Mr Cat – you will NOT – I repeat – you will NOT kill Miss Cocksucker. Now the problem here as I see it is…