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Today was the day he was dreading. He knew they were going to be extremely busy, and quite frankly he wanted to call out, seeing as he was already late. His thoughts were briefly distracted by his black tabby, quietly pawing at his legs, ready for its breakfast. He made sure to fill up its bowl before he dashed out the door, returning twice to grab whatever he forgot the first few times. And he was off.

He breathed a sigh of relief as the last customer left. It had been the best sales day of the year, and they were obviously going to celebrate. He had been contemplating going on home, but he needed to unwind too. He had no serious obligations the next day, so he could stay out as late as he wanted. So when they asked, he happily agreed to go with them.

He couldn't open his eyes. He was barely conscious as it was. He slapped lazily around until he managed to shut the alarm off, before he rolled onto his stomach and buried his face in his pillow. The door creaked as his black tabby walked in and jumped onto his back, where it curled up close to his head. The hot breath in his ear lulled him back to sleep.

The doorbell continued to ring. He crawled out of bed and made his way to the front door. It was his next door neighbor, a kind woman in her late seventies, who still worked. She was in her business suit, holding a trash bag. “Oh did I wake you up? I thought you were usually up by now.”

“I usually am,” he said groggily. “But they let me have today off.”

“Well I hate to come bearing such bad news so early in the morning,” she said, patting his hand, “but I ran over your dear tabby last night when I got home. I came straight over to tell you but you weren't home.”

He stared at her for a few seconds, before their silence was broken by its footsteps.