Sunday, November 4, 2012

When 'the parent's' away

While I type away, the smell of pumpkin muffins is heading up the stairs. Yep...I baked them again. 
We can't seem to get enough of these 'little cakes' as my grand-daughter, Riley calls them. Better freeze some for her, too. They have been added to my list of 'comfort foods'. 
The cats are entertained as the fire-wood is being stacked outside the window. They know that is where their comfort lies. It will sooth those old bones and just maybe there will be some heat left over for us.

                     A light-hearted look at cat-sitting.

As you know, I am a cat-sitter so I care for traveller's cats.
There is always an 'introductory meeting' and a 3- page form  filled in by the owner before I am handed the house-key. I meet the cat, we usually click (not always but then I don't mind a challenge) and the owner and I discuss  the habits and needs of the cat in my care.

Now, just like kids, cats can be very different when 'the parent' is away. So when the owner tells me the following...

1. Cat NEVER jumps up on counters or tables
2. Cat always uses the scratching posts.
3. Cat loves to be brushed
4. Usually goes outside daily but will be absolutely fine inside while they travel.
5. My favorite...."Oh, she's a cinch to pill."

Not always but sometimes I take most of this with a grain of salt. I know better after 18 years of cat-sitting that the little miss predictable pussy-cat may not be any of the above for me. I'll be sized-up the second I enter the home and the wheels will turn in that little kitty brain. She's had plenty of time to think creatively on how to take advantage of the cat-sitter and the fun begins.
I start by taking a seat on the floor to face her at her level and speak kind, loving words to her. I get a look of "You're a dork" and before I am back up on my feet (which takes longer now than it used to) kitty is sitting on the counter next to the can-opener. Okay.....

Fresh water and food is lovingly dished out and she sniffs it and walks away. She would much rather go outside now so the next 20 minutes is taken up with me tackling litter-box duties and sweeping up the mile-long litter trail while she meows and taps at the patio door to magically open.
She wants **OUT!**
I feel so bad for her and scoop her up to entertain her with a grooming session. She lies on her best side as I start to stroke her luscious fur with her kitty brush. She growls and smacks my arm with her tail. "Dang."

I think I hear the words "Super dork' as she jumps from the couch onto the dining-room table where she looks suspiciously right at home.
I'm starting to feel unappreciated but I'm no quitter. I carry her down and give her the daily number of treats written down on the form.  She devours them and then gives me a soft *mew* for more.  I'm a push-over (and she has already figured that out) so one more. I wait, when she's done I pick her up and give her a hug. Deep down, I hear the purr that she just can't confine. Just what I needed. So far, so good.
Tomorrow will be even better. =^..^=

hugs, Deb


  1. LOL! What a great post!
    Kitties sure know how to manipulate us to get what they want.
    I've heard that 'my cat NEVER jumps on the counter/table' from people, too.
    Do I believe it??? NO!!!
    When the caretakers are away, cats dance all over the counters! he-he-he!

  2. Too funny! Sounds familiar!!!!!!!!! I can almost smell the pumpkin muffins!

  3. that cinches it! You have THE BEST job ever!!!!

  4. Our cats like to perform small tricks when we leave the house for quick runs to the store. Usually they involve eating household plants (sigh) walking across the stove and glass dining room table. They always act innocent when we walk in. I know.

    Do you have the recipe for the pumpkin muffins? I looked on the site and haven't found it yet. Thanks.

  5. Deb, just as well I don't live in your household! I'm not much of an eater but I LOVE home-bake and could happily live on cakes and cookies :-) Your home-bake looks delicious!!!
    As for the life of a cat-sitter... you describe a cats mind so perfectly (naturally!). One shouldn't swoop in and think one has got them all figured out. BUT for the patient cat-sitter/lover there will always be a reward. It sure pays to be patient and having learned diligently from years of having studied the minds of cats. They tend to KNOW when they're in the company of someone who is not going to give up easily and it's a lovely moment when they "give-in" and give one that nod of OK, maybe you're not so bad after all, LOL!!!

  6. Deb this made me laugh out loud! I think Charlie is so sweet but I bet he would be one of those calling you a 'dork'....funny kitties!
    hugs, Linda

  7. Lovely post and I so envy your job.. To work with the cats that we so live would be magical.. I know tomorrow will be better with the kitty.. Hugs GJ xx

  8. I think all pets are like this . I know the minuet we walk out the door our pooch Miggs is up on the couch snoozing where that is not allowed when we are home . As for our Harley kitty she is soo lazy and doesn't move from her post much cause she knows Miggs will chase her and want to play lol ! Lovely photos , Have a good day !

  9. I really don't know how you manage to stay in such great shape when you are eating all these delicious carbs. I'm so jealous!

    Since the only way I know to keep kitties where they aren't supposed to be is via a closed (& securely locked) door, the rest of the house has no er.. no-no's. It would be silly for me to expect that when I'm gone they don't do exactly as they please. Cod love them all!

  10. I am so enjoying your posts! Thankk you for taking the time to fill us in on your life and your cat-sitting.

  11. We love to read your posts. Our mom had a long conversation with our pet sitter this past week and she's going to try some new things to see if Truffle will trust her a little more.

  12. You are a treasure, Deb. Really, you are.

  13. I really enjoy your blog and reading about all the kitties.

    We are still feeling very sad from losing our Kit. She was 13 years old and became very sick with cancer. It was so very hard to put her to sleep even though we knew it was best. Our other cat Sadie gets lots of loving but she is still whining and crying a lot. Hopefully she will settle down soon.

    The pumpkin muffins look yummy!
    Best wishes

  14. Well, when you bring out the kitty crack (Temptations) I'm not surprised they cave in. What the heck is in that stuff? ~ Maureen

  15. Wow! Three pages. I'm impressed =) I still haven't gotten enough gumption to call the cat sitter my vet suggested because
    I'm just not sure....still wished you lived closer, though.
    Little divas-all of them! Spoiled, pampered divas.
    Can't think of anyone more worthy of spoiling, though.