The thing was this, he never had handled stress very well. It always made him snappy, peevish and a little violent. He couldn't take it. That's why he worked as a janitor. Low stress. He always got a bit pissed at all the cleaning he had to do. Bu that was all right. That was okay.

This wasn't okay. This was no where near okay. This was so far from okay he wanted to vomit thinking about it. As it were, he merely twitched his tail and narrowed his eyes. His fur was bristling. He wanted to skewer something.

John Mattock was a middle aged janitor. He had two best friends and a wife. One of his best friends was another middle aged man who was an ex-felon, presently a police officer. The other was a parrot. His wife hated him. She called him a pig. She screamed at him and set his clothes on fire. He had a restraining order on her. She had pending divorce.

John Mattock's wife called him a third wheel. A tag along. One of those people no one really liked but always had around. That's why she hated him. She also didn't like the other women.

There were no other women.

John was lucky enough to have his wife. He tried cheating on her once, but the prostitute wouldn't take his money. She called him a pig. She called him a third wheel and she screamed at him. She set his clothes on fire. She looked like his wife.

John Mattock plodded down the street. He was grey. He had fur. His eyes were yellow and his feet had claws. He had a tail. John Mattock was a cat.

He hadn't been born a cat. He was born a human. 10 ounces of vulnerable flesh. He'd grown up with a woman named Patty and the photograph of a man she reverently called 'bastard father'.

She called John 'bastard son'.

The man in the photograph had brown hair. He wore a dirty white tunic shirt. He had a headband. He was high.

Patty was in the photograph too. She wasn't high. Not as high. She didn't use acid. She smoked pot. She didn't smoke pot anymore. She drank Budweiser and whiskey, though. She took pills. One day she took a lot of pills. They were for sleeping. They worked very well, because Patty didn't wake up.

John went to live with nuns after that. No one told him where his mommy was, but that was okay because John didn't worry about it.

The nuns scared John. They never stopped. They told him stories about people being nailed to pieces of wood. They told him about giant floods that killed almost everybody. They told him about animals eating people. They told him about dead people coming to life.

That, John thought, was a shame, because people spent all their lives trying to hurry to be dead, what kind of person would bring someone back to life? The nuns told him God. He told them God must be a jerk. The nuns got mad at him. He never called God a jerk again.

John went to collage. He was going to become a priest, but then he got drunk and had sex with fifteen women. They were drunk too. One of them became pregnant. Another sued for rape. The others were ashamed. John was kicked out of priest collage. He had contracted Chlamydia.

John met his wife after that. He didn't tell her he had Chlamydia. He told her he was a virgin. She thought it was sweet. They got married. They had sex. She contracted Chlamydia.

Her name was Connie. She was a child care professional. That meant she worked at a daycare. Her dream was to have a daughter named Ally and a son named Billy. The told John and he said yes, their children would be Alistair and William. Connie was very happy.

Connie's doctor told her, quite ruefully, that she could never have a son named Billy or a daughter named Ally because she was infertile. Barren. She had Chlamydia.

"You likely got it," Her doctor said calmly, "from your husband."

When Connie had gotten home she lit her husband on fire.

John was fine now. He was a grey cat. He had matted fur and a crooked ear. There was a child poking a stick at him.

John had gone to intensive care. When he got back there was a lawyer waiting for him. The lawyer told him that if he would please just sign his name here, this whole nightmare of a marriage would be over. John told him, quite civilly, what he thought of the divorce papers and where he ought to shove them. He also punched him

When John had been living with the nuns he'd tried to run away. He got as far as the liquor store when he met a man. The mans name was Joseph. He was a third grade teacher. Joseph had a wife and two kids. One was named Connie and the other was Sally. Joseph's wife's name was Anna.

Joseph took John to his house. John asked where his daughters were. Joseph said it didn't matter and took John's clothes off. John punched him and ran away.

John had also punched Sister Mary. She had been yelling at him. She yelled because John had been trying to run away. She also yelled because he came running back naked.

John punched Connie's father at their wedding. His name was Joseph. He was a retired teacher.

John had refused to sign the divorce papers. This pissed Connie off. It gave John unbelievable satisfaction. When they were forced to go to court John nearly drowned. He did it on purpose. Judges, John thought, looked like nuns. He avoided nuns. He avoided Judges as well. He also avoided Child Care Professionals and Prostitutes.

John didn't like fire. He didn't like sleeping pills, hippies or whiskey. He hated sex. He told this to God and God told him to sign the divorce papers. The voice of God sounded an awful lot like Connie. John was also on fire.

That was when John had gotten the restraining order. He took it to Connie, displayed it with pride, and asked that she make him a sandwich. She lit him aflame. That seemed to be a hobby of hers.

John's son came to visit him one day. His name was James. James's mothers name was Shanee. John had slept with her one night when he was drunk. James wanted to bond. He thought it would be nice for his father to go fishing with him. They didn't go fishing. They went to the movie theatre and watched a movie about ponies. They snuck into another movie about war.

Connie heard about John's son. She called Shanee. She met her at a restaurant. She pulled a nine millimeter on her and shot her in the temple. James and John were pilfering popcorn at the time. James was ten years old. Connie was apprehended and driven away in a white care with flashing lights. Shanee was driven away in a black bag inside of a white van with flashing lights. James was in the restroom. John was hitting on a sixteen year old.

When the police contacted John about the shooting he replied, "It happens" and hung up. He made a bowl of cereal. He told James his mother was dead. His wife had shot her. He turned the television on and watched cartoons. James went outside and beat up the neighbors kid. He was eight.

The neighbors kid's mother dragged James to Johns house. She demanded punishment, so John punched her.

John was now sitting in a chair, wearing blue scrubs and complaining, in light meows, that he was sleepy and he itched. He pawed at his face and twitched. The doctors gave him a mild sedative.

Its very difficult to watch sitcoms when crazed middle aged men are meowing and rubbing against your legs.