Last Chance

Office Cat

Picture attributed to Mackenzie Molina via Flicker Creative Commons

It wasn’t one of the tallest buildings in the city, but large enough that staring towards the top required Chance to crane his neck. Seeing the top, knowing that in a few minutes he’d be somewhere up there talking to the members of a board for a job interview he was sure he wasn’t even supposed to have gotten, made the knot in his stomach coil even tighter.

“Now, are you sure you want to do this?” Bailey asked, also staring upwards. “You know as well as I do they probably got your file mixed up and think your a cat.”

Chance shrugged. “Thanks for the confidence.”

“Hey, man. You know I’m only looking out for you,” Bailey said.

“I don’t know. I feel like I have to do this,” Chance said. He smoothed out the suit he’d rented for the occasion. “I mean, there has to be something on my resume that stood out. Maybe I’ll knock it out of the ballpark?”

Bailey hesitated. “Well, if you’re going to do this, you gotta keep a few things in mind. First, keep the panting to a minimum. Dog’s pant. Cat’s don’t. You ever see a cat pant? You’re going to have to walk the walk if you want to get in here. Second, don’t forget you’re a dog. Don’t do anything…dog like.”

“I’ll be fine,” Chance said.

“If they even let you in. That buster at the door with the stripes has been eyeing us for the past ten minutes.” Bailey said.

“Well, let him then,” Chance said, staring back. “His boss is expecting me. Now how do I look?”

“Like you rented that suit,” Bailey laughed. “I’ll be over by the hot dog stand when you finish.”

The interview room was set up like an inquisition. Six cats with perfectly manicured fur and suits that made his look like he’d pulled it from a pawn shop bargain bin stared back at him without a shred of emotion passing before their faces. The ginger furred one seemed to be in charge, but he was also the one who said the least. While the other’s asked him questions, he only stared through two half-lidded eyes; his tail twitching endlessly behind him.

“I noticed a lapse in your employment history between September and December of the previous year,” A white tabby said. She adjusted the spectacles perched on her nose, glancing at his resume to be sure. “Would you care to explain this?”

Chance cleared his throat, mindful to keep his tongue in his mouth. “I was between jobs at that time. I had just graduated college and with the economy being what it is…”

“We’re fully aware of the economy, Mr. Barker,” The Ginger cat finally spoke. It’s voice was like an aged cheese. “I think the issue my colleagues are batting at is the fact that you are standing in a rather prestigious organization that’s been around for at least four generations. The Von Puss family has a long standing in this community and you’re…”

“A dog?” Chance asked. His voice rang out in the cathedral sized room louder than he expected.

“Indeed,” The Ginger cat grinned. “Now I’ve got nothing against dog’s. In fact, some of my best friends are dogs, but let’s be honest with each other here. You’re a dog trying to apply in a traditionally cat run industry. Why do you want to work for a bunch of cats?”

Chance hesitated.

“Thank you for your time…” The Ginger cat began.

Chance ignored him. “I know there was probably an error in hiring, but you must’ve picked me to come in for a reason. I may not have the best history, but I have the skills to do wonderful things here. You seem to be a man of business Mr. Von Puss, otherwise why would you be where you are? You know as well as I do that the bottom line should be held in a higher esteem than breed. If you take a chance on me, I can promise you that I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. You won’t find a better worker.” Chance finished talking.

“Well, now,” The white tabby said, smiled nervously. “Thank you for coming in Mr. Barker. You can expect a call from us in two to three business days.”

“I’m called Chance for a reason,” He said, staring at the Ginger cat. “Thank you for your time.”

Bailey was waiting for him, his tongue lolling perilously out of his mouth. He grinned when he appeared, circling him twice for any obvious injuries.

“You look like you’re in one piece, although you smell like burned tuna,” Bailey said. “So how did it go?”

Chance sighed. “Ruff.”


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