Compensatory Damages

Sylvia ran a bit on the wild side, so it wasn't unusual for her parties to be the same. By anyone's standards, one the other night was totally out of bounds when Rat the biker dude got liquored up so badly that he couldn't remember anything afterwards. For Rat, sadly this wasn't unusual.

Now all bikers certainly aren't bad dudes, don't get me wrong...Rat was just one of the rotten apples, looking like the stereotype of the badass biker with a big hulking body and hair hanging down beyond his shoulders. He wore a battered black leather bikers jacket one suspected even to bed.- -Well, when Rat got bombed out of his mind that evening, he picked up one of Sylvia's TV sets and chucked it at the wall. Sylvia screamed at her party guest from hell, but that had the same effect on Rat as a feather duster might have. Anyhow, Rat was on a roll, so he picked up another TV set, and repeated his performance, with the exception that this time the TV landed on Pringles the cat, who died instantly.

Sylvia took Rat to court, where Judge Rudely listened distainfully to the case before assigning $1,200 in damages to Sylvia, the estimated cost of replacing the two televisions destroyed as well as the damaged drywall. I observed the whole affair from the Visitor's Gallery.

"What about the cat?," I shouted out. "What value do you assign to a life? And how can you begin to compensate the woman for the loss of her cat's companionship?" Judge Rudely was already exiting to her chambers, however, as the bailiff cleared the courtroom. I decided to confront Rat on the issue, following him to outside a bar where he had just parked his bike. I followed Rat into the bar, passing time there until he left much later after dark. It was not until then that I walked up to the big biker as he prepared to leave.

"You killed a cat," I said quietly. "How do you intend to make amends for that?- - How for that matter can you?," I asked.

Through his drunken haze, Rat looked at me as if I was from Mars, his breath rank and offensive to my heightened senses. "Who the hell are you?," he slurred. "I just killed a f***** animal, that's all!- -I don't even remember doing it"

"Animal?," I replied. "Sir, I am one!"

Rat threw a beefy fist in my direction, but he appeared to me to be moving in slow motion. I easily sidestepped the punch, batting Rat's arm out of the way and opening up multiple parallel cuts in his flesh as my claws, now exposed, passed over the arm. I then grabbed the biker by the throat and with one arm lifted him with off the ground. Rat tore at my fingers, but my claws were quite well anchored at that point. His boots kicked in empty air, struggling in vain to find purchase.

"You see, Rat," I explained as I effortlessly held the struggling man aloft, "if there are no laws on earth which can touch you, there is always a higher law which can!" I twisted my paw slightly, reassured by the satisfying snap that a neck makes when it breaks.

Tossing the lifeless body aside as if it were weighless, the feline in human form vaulted easily to the top of a nearby roof, and was soon invisible in the embrace of the night...