Times were tough. Billy Vignace had not worked in over eight months. The bills were piling up and the electricity company had threatened to cut him off. He moped about the house miserably, thinking, “Soon I’ll be sitting here in the dark, starving to death, wishing I was never born.”

Just then, his cat, Jekyll, wandered past, brushed Billy’s leg with her tail en route to the litter box, whereupon she proceeded to do some nefarious cat business.

“Christ!” roared the normally patient and gentle Billy. “You are a stinker! All you do is rip the furniture, eat all the food, and stink up the place.”

Jekyll gave him a nonchalant smile.

“Your point is?” Jekyll said.

“The point is,” Billy retorted, “I can’t take it anymore. In case you hadn’t noticed, this household is headed by one single employable who is currently unemployed. We’re headed towards crisis like the Titanic. How about you try and find a job, huh?”

“Suit yourself,” said Jekyll.

The next day at eleven o’clock, Jekyll returned from her morning stroll to announce that she had done exactly as Billy had asked and found a job. Billy was dumbstruck.

“How the hell did you manage that?” he asked.

“Simple,” explained Jekyll. “I wandered down the road and offered my services to Mrs. Giggins. She’s always had a soft spot for me. After a short interview, she offered to hire me on the spot. I will be starting work tomorrow.”

“Work?” Billy roared. “Work? You don’t even know what work is! What the heck will you be doing for Mrs. Giggins?”

Jekyll licked her front paw and then sat down serenely. She sighed, and then proceeded to give an account of her job duties.

“I have been asked to provide affection services, such as letting the client tickle my tummy, also to sit on her lap upon request, to chase after a ball of string, to look out of the window for hours on end, not to mention lazing around looking cute.”

“You call that a job?” Billy thundered. “I never heard of anything so bonkers. What’s your job title?”

Jekyll shook her head with sympathy for her owner’s ignorance.

“My job title is House Pet.”

Billy slapped his hand to his forehead, utterly dumbfounded and flabbergasted.

“But you’re a House Pet already!” he cried. “That’s not a friggin’ job!”

“It is when you’re getting paid twenty dollars an hour,” replied Jekyll.

“Twenty freakin’ bucks an hour!” screamed Billy. “You can’t be serious! Lord Almighty! Why don’t I get a job as a human being, eh? Will somebody pay me to eat, defecate, and watch curling?”

Jekyll sighed out of pity for Billy. She thereupon went to the living room and reclined on the couch. “By the way, Mrs. Giggins says it is wrong for you to keep me as indentured labour. She suggests I make a complaint to the Feline Rights Board.”

M.o.M.

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