PLAIN JANE

Most of the social places here in the big city belong to the humans. Sorry, no animals allowed. I guess that's what makes my job so special. I work in a fancy restaurant that has one rule: no mice or chipmunks allowed! No mice, chipmunks, or anything like them were permitted. I personally have never had a problem with rodents, but the manager of the restaurant sure did. Rodents could not get within 10 miles of this place without being scared away.

This restaurant isn't just famous for its strict policy though. Only the best of the best come to this place. If an animal wanted to come and he or she wasn't either rich or have some sort of title, the animal would not be allowed in. This place let in the most famous and the most aristocratic this city's got. This often made me wonder why lower class creatures like me were allowed to work there. I'd heard that it's because the upper classes had better opportunities, had more expectations, and had more of the attitude that says "I'm not working in a place that requires getting my neatly manicured claws dirty." That's the type of creature I hate, not because of species, but of attitude. If one comes in not wanting to help, then don't promise help.

I come from a lower class litter of kittens born from one mother, and for all I know, many fathers; I only know the one who was there at my birth. Mother and this Father stayed together and always encouraged me and my brothers and sisters to keep ourselves away from the temptations many animal criminals had fallen into. I've heard about many who had, those like Rat Capone, Desiree D'Allure, and the infamous Fat Cat. I'd never actually seen any of them. At least not until the night my life suddenly felt at risk.

I was hard at work at the non rodents restaurant, Frederick's, washing dishes, helping with appetizers, and taking orders from the more experienced employees. I was a new employee at the time, serving on the one month trial that my boss, Frederick, had always given to trainees. There I was in my uniform: knee length black skirt, button up white shirt, tie, waist coat, and the brown hair that grew from the top of my head tied in a neat bun. I never liked the style, but it was required. Anyway, these wardrobe dislikes would be the least of my troubles.

The manager, a tall thin tom cat with orange fur and blue eyes, entered the room and called us all over. The cooks, a cat and a crow, waiters, three rats and a lizard, waitresses, two lizards and a two cats, the hostess, a rat, the bus boys, burly rats, and me, the trainee, the little white furred cat with the brunette hair in a bun, all came to him in a cluster.

"Everybody, I've got big news! Tomorrow, our most valued guest has decided to grace us with his presence again," he announced. I noticed the murmurs and the looks the other employees gave each other. I wondered who it could have been. No one famous had come in to eat here after I came, so I wondered who the great guest could have been.

"Fat Cat has decided to spend tomorrow night's dinner here, which means that I want everyone on their best behavior," Frederick finally said. When he said "best behavior", he looked at me, as if he was convinced that I might do something wrong.

Some groaned, others let out excited sounds, and as for me, a lump fell formed in the throat. I'd heard many stories about Fat Cat and his criminal empire. Allies of his were everywhere, he owned the most popular casino in town, and anyone could become a victim of his crimes…or so I'd heard. My stomach began to feel strange, my teeth chattered, and my knees began to knock. I was just so overwhelmed by the fact that the most powerful animal in the city was coming to where I worked, and from what I could tell, he was welcomed here.

"Penny?" I asked one of the cooks, the cat. Penny was an older cat with light brown fur, and short brunette hair. She and I had grown close during my time here, so I felt like I could go to her for just about anything. Penny was putting away the lost of the whisks as I called her name. After she put away the last of the whisks, she looked at me as she dried her paws.

"What's up, Jane?" she asked me.

"Ummm…well…," I started. I did not know what to say at first, but soon I just spat it out.

"What's Fat Cat like?" I asked. Penny sighed and rolled her eyes.

"Well…all I can really say is that he hasn't been here since before you were hired, and he can be a bit of a pill when he's aggravated, but when he's in a good mood, he's quite the gentleman. When he's in that state, one might not be able to tell that he's a dangerous fiend," she replied.

My eyes widened.

"Well, it's just that…I'm kinda nervous about what might happen tomorrow. What if Fat Cat isn't in a good mood? I've heard all sorts of stories of his crimes and…I'm kinda scared," I confessed. Penny threw down the towel she was using to dry her paws, and placed one of them on my left shoulder.

"Jane, there's something I've gotta tell you, now that you've said that," she told me. I leaned forward quite anxiously. She then told the one piece of advice I knew I had to hold onto.

"If he tells you to do something, just do it."