The scene is Boston, "before the turn of the century". A rich businessman is annoyed at his wife's pestering, so he calls for the maid to prepare some warm milk. However, a pair of inept robbers kidnap a maid from a house, believing her to be the wife. The film switches to a small New England town called "Edgefield", where 16-year-old Patti Randall (Ricci) is disgusted with how boring and old-fashioned the town is. She does love her cat, D.C. ("Darn Cat") however. Her parents are unhappy at the way Patti acts and dresses. Every night D.C. leaves at 8 and harasses the neighborhood (such as tricking the dog and eating the dog food or playing with a bird cage while a geriatric and senile old lady orders travel packages). However, Patti's big break comes when D.C. walks into a dilapidated building where the maid wraps a Timex watch around D.C.'s neck with "Hell" scratched on it (she meant to write "Help" but only came in some of the way). Patti (Ricci) discovers the watch around her cat's neck and informs the FBI. The rest of the film revolves around the various humorous scrapes and struggles that Patti and the agent Zeke (Doug) face trying to get D.C. to lead them to the victim.