Thursday, September 27, 2012

Not in it for the glamour

Driving up to one of my clients' homes I noticed a man working on the roof of the house. It was my first day starting cat care but they were regular clients.  We waved to each other and I went inside. There was a note, as I expected, to let me know that there would be someone working on the house that day and not to  mind him. Fine. It's good that they let me know so there are no questions asked.
I went about my regular routine, hugging cats, feeding cats, brushing cats, scooping boxes, writing in the daily log, handing out treats, and big hugs again before leaving.

As I was walking back to the car the fella said to me, "You know, I could have fed the cats for them. Funny that they didn't ask me." I proceeded to tell him that I had been caring for these cats for years now and am hired to do so each time they travel. He said.."Oh, well I wouldn't want to take away your income. That's fine, I won't offer then, he said.  I looked at him and said "you know, you also have to scoop their litter boxes daily." He wrinkled up his nose and replied, "Oh hell, forget that then."

It is so 'old hat' for me to keep litter boxes ship-shape for my clients' cats that I barely think about it.
I guess that is what would stop many from wanting to become a cat-sitter.
Kind of takes the glamour out of it. HA! Take it from me, it is not a glamorous occupation.
Although, I do find that when I am called to care for pure-breds I tend to wear more bangles.
All jobs have their pit-falls. I don't 'suit up' when I scoop but I use a clean scoop and then immediately wash my hands. Regular cleaning of the litter box keeps germs down and adding baking soda to the litter daily will keep down the odour. As in the photo, cats do love to jump in sometimes before I am finished cleaning it. I suppose it is like humans who tidy up and clean the bathroom and then immediately want to take a long leisurely bath to enjoy the pristine surroundings.

They really are very clean animals and appreciate our efforts by using their box without fail. Another reason I love them.
                                                Mookie - My very first cat-client.  (1995)

The love-birds never batted a tail when they woke to find Audrey snuggled in with them. This may be a daily ritual soon.
hugs, Deb


  1. I'm laughing because no it isn't a glamorous job at all! When the Mr and I got together and I had cats he will feed them but hated to clean the litter box. However now he does it like a pro since I've had to be gone so much seeing my Mom in Texas. Love that Audrey was not booted out of the snuggle. hugs, Linda

  2. The daily [or twice-daily] litter box detail isn't something to look forward to, but it is part of living with cats. We clean when 'someone' hawks up a hairball, run with the roll of toilet tissue when we hear Raisin, our resident 'puker' making her distress noises.
    But then--they snuggle, they purr, they 'talk' to us and provide hours of entertainment and companionship. Those of us who love cats are in for the long haul.

  3. That is something people forget or doesent know when they take cats .There is a litter box to ceep clean en the hairballs we find in the house .Not a nice job but it has to be done to keep our kitties happy

  4. We've had cats for 40+ years and have loved every minute. The cat box chores are just something that has to be done if you want to live with cats and we certainly do.
    Personally, I'd rather scoop out a cat box than change a messy diaper!
    Bless you for being such a good caretaker for your own and your client's cats.

  5. My mom has started watching Truffle and Brulee for me and she does a great job loving on them, playing with them, and feeding them. I need to teach her how to brush them (I'm still working on that myself). When I asked her about the litter box, she also wrinkled up her nose. My question to her was, "You mean you won't scoop the litter box, but you'll pick up Bandit's (her dog) poop with a napkin?" She shrugged her shoulders.

    I let my mom look after Truffle and Brulee when I traveled last month because I wasn't totally happy with the pet sitter. I didn't get the type of updates I wanted and Truffle never seemed happy with her. How do I really find a good cat sitter?

  6. I'd much rather scoop the cat box than be a dog-walking pooper scooper! I think you have a very rewarding job!

  7. Yes, I do. I wouldn't do anything else now.

  8. sigh-litter boxes are my least favorite part
    But I think the brats are totally worth it =)
    Glad to hear the love birds accepted audrey!

  9. Yes, a necessary evil it seems :)
    My cat used to jump in the litter box, right in the middle of when I was adding the litter, oftentimes it covered him too !
    I've been having computer gremlins, which makes it difficult to comment sometimes, but just wanted to say congratulations on the birth of your adorable grandson, he's just precious :)

  10. I've only got the two boys (4 litter boxes), have never minded doing them, not really. I only ask Nicki why he insists on peeing directly on the corner of the box all the time, right on the plastic. But hey, at least it's inside the box, not outside, knock on wood. And I presume it's his way of marking. Either that or his aim is off. LOL.

    -Kim (Fuzzy Tales, with Nicki and Derry)

    P.S. It probably helps that I have no sense of smell anymore, due to allergies--to cats, among other things. :-)

  11. I laughed at the mans reaction to scooping as when I first met Barrie he did the same. Now he doesn it without a second thought and wont leave anything in it all as he says jasper wont like to use a dirty box. It is indeed a part of cat care.. Hugs GJ x

  12. I get so frustrated--I scoop the litter box once a day and they both stand there and wait for me to be done so they can go in it! What litter do you think is the best?

  13. It's strange that so many people want the easy part of responsibility but are not willing to take the tough (or smelly) parts. The whole point of responsibility is to be there for everything, good and bad.

  14. Hi Deb,
    I know what ya mean. Nothing glam about the cat box but I'm like you I just do it and not give it much thought. We just got the kitties a top entry box and they didn't take to it much. I just took the lid off and they were fine. They are such good little troopers moving into their new home after traveling 8 hours in the car. Gizzy cries some at night and has been anxious but Gabby is settling right in.
    I'm so glad that there are people like you that love the little fur babies.


  15. Good for Audrey! I woke up this morning hoping that Lily and Mr. Ed had been okay with her being with them! Yay for Audrey! It may turn out to be a good thing for Lily or Mr. Ed, too. Someday when life moves on, as it does, and only one of them is still with you, they could have a cuddle buddy in Audrey. I hope that happens.
    Wishing you and all the kitties a good weekend... maybe some more time with sweet Bradley! I am thinking so!
    Lily, WA, USA

  16. The above post echos my sentiments exactly. This may be Audrey's special mission. I'd like to think that.
    Scooping litter is far less offensive than picking up dog poop. But then quite a lot of dog owners not feel it's necessary to pick up after their pets. The unfortunate property owner gets that treat.

  17. Cleaning the litter trays doesn't bother me one bit.
    Jane x

  18. Heehee the littertray is the job I do the most but then I'm so fussy about it, probably more so than the cat! Clean scoop, fragranced nappy bag for the scoopings, litter tray liner, a layer of clumping litter covered with a layer of odour control litter and then sculpted into as flat a surface as I can!

  19. Hahahaha ... more bangles for purebreds. Yes, they'd appreciate the bling, I guess.
    and CONGRATS on being a new Nana, again.
    That is BEYOND exciting.
    (Loved the wedding pictures you posted, too.)
    Have a great weekend -- Cass