The following is something I wrote in September 2015 and just ran across recently. It is a great illustration of an overnight pet sitter's world. Sometimes it may seem a little negative, but it isn't meant that way. It is an example of what one of our specialties, overnight pet sitting, is like from the pet sitter's point of view.
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I am having the absolute pleasure of spending my days with a 30-year-old Arabian horse named Marah and six "feral" cats. The sun is shining gloriously, the skies are clear and blue, and I am sitting outside on the deck enjoying life. Let me tell you about some of the characters who live here and with whom I am spending my days.
All of the cats have been rescued by my client either by showing up on her doorstep or at the home of someone else who couldn't care for them. Some have been alone so long that they will not come anywhere near me or other strangers.
Mindy, a long-haired Tortoiseshell Calico cat, enjoys taking walks with me in the morning and snuggling endlessly on my lap in the evening. She does insist that we sit in a certain room, so I am forced to watch TV or read a book. Oh the torture!!! She is soooo feral (tongue in cheek) that she loves belly rubs and to have her toes played with while she is curled up on my lap. She was obviously someone's cat. Either she was allowed to roam free outdoors and got lost, or someone dumped her in the woods. How sad and scary that must have been for her. In addition, somewhere along her travels, Mindy lost half of her tail, which makes her even cuter, believe it or not.
Chessie, who hides from Mindy and me in the back bedroom is the most interesting looking Calico, tabby, tuxedo mix I have ever seen. The photo doesn't do her colors justice. She is very shy, so I couldn't get closer for a better picture.
Jezzie is a gorgeous, long-haired tabby/tuxedo mix. He is also very shy, so he will not come anywhere near me. I can only get photos from a distance. Once he sees me take a photo, his is GONE like yesterday. Isn't he handsome, though?
This burly, short-haired tabby/tuxedo mix is Creole. He likes a dab of whipped cream in the morning. Unfortunately, he is extremely shy, so I didn't get to give him any. 🙁
Creole and Jezzie often hang around together and look like two kids roaming the world like Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. It is so cute. You can tell that they are true BFFs.
Cory was a friendly, long-haired orange tabby. He would walk around the yard with me during the day. He enjoyed being brushed and loved. Look at his plush, soft fur. Sadly, he developed kidney failure and has passed since I originally wrote this.
Shadow is a black and white tuxedo hunter extraordinaire that is fearful of new humans. He may be timid, but he still brings presents to the door for me when I am not looking. Even though he likes to come in at night for Mom and Dad, he says "No Way!" to me.
Typical of cats, Shadow, Creole and Jezzie have talking battles, so I just tell them to keep it down, and they all settle down again.
Marah is a sweet girl. She will lift her front right leg to show you that she wants something from you…usually a treat. You can even shake her leg like you would a dog's paw. She likes that. She has loads of personality and attitude. She is a woman who knows what she wants, and she intends to get it. I think that is why I like her so much.
Now don't get me wrong. It is disheartening feeding and watering 6 cats who run away from me anytime I walk near them (within 30 feet). It is also a lot of work cleaning 7 litter boxes, walking 1/2 mile to and from the mailbox each day, mucking the horse stall, feeding the horse 3 times a day, hauling the manure by wagon to a wooded area for dumping, rolling the garbage can 1/4 mile to the garbage pickup spot, cleaning and recycling all of the cat food cans, and washing all of the food and water bowls every day. The kitties get 6 different kinds of dry food, a variety of canned food, 4 water bowls inside the house and 1 outside on the deck, and 11 dry food bowls throughout the house.
During this time I am still running my business – checking email, speaking with clients, touching base with employees, conferring with other pet sitters, paying bills, invoicing clients, and reading numerous newsletters from vets and dog trainers to keep us current with the latest information.
Then I am sleeping in a bed that is not mine, using someone else's kitchen, meaning I have to search to find everything I need – silverware, cooking utensils, food, pans. You would be surprised at the number of different styles of microwaves, stove tops, and ovens I need to learn, even the difference of a water/ice dispenser from one freezer to another.
During all of this I am missing my husband, my own kitties, my home and my own bed. With all of this, I will unequivocally say, I HAVE THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD.
Where else could I get to spend time with spunky horses, soft but skittish alpacas, jumpy bunnies, busy bearded dragons, squawking ducks, playful goats, colorful fish…the list goes on…even "ordinary, everyday" crazy, silly, energetic dogs and cats, who are precious to me? ~Ray