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  • Writer's pictureAldona Birmantas

A day in the life of a cat sitter

Was looking at my schedule for February and it's definitely looking to be a busy month! Wow! I was thinking back to the holidays, and how some folks asked me, "What's it like to be a cat sitter?" I've really never been sure how to answer that, so decided to go through what a day of cat sitting is like.

The title is a little misleading - some of this stuff is done days before the actual day of the sits!

Last year, for Thanksgiving week, I closed down booking about a week beforehand. The very next day, I started plotting out my schedule. I had a couple of visits that had to be done at certain times, but the others were not. I put all the addresses into Google Maps, and after some moving addresses around, came up with my route. Five visits in the morning, starting with one of my timed visits. Go home, and then at the end of the day, in the evening, my last timed visit.

The next time I went grocery shopping, I made sure to pick up some snacks to bring with me. While even the holidays were very part-time in terms of how busy I was.... it was still the busiest I'd ever been! Figuring out the time to do the sits and time between them, I knew I'd be getting hungry along the way. Made sure to have some proteins and carbs. And of course, water!

Then finally comes the first day with six visits - on Thanksgiving Day. I went to my first timed visit, then hopped on the highway to go all the way up to the next one. Then made a nice little circle with the next three visits. Took anywhere from 4-5 hours, depending on how traffic was, getting caught at the train tracks (or not), and how fast I was moving between visits. Thanksgiving I moved pretty fast, because I had somewhere to go in the middle of the day. The two days afterwards though, I did not, so didn't move nearly as fast.

I would leave the house for my first visit at 7am, and return home from my last morning visit anywhere between 11am-noon. I'd have my lunch, do stuff around the house, clean the cat litter boxes, and later on, around 7pm, leave to do my last visit for the day. Then I'd come home, have dinner, and relax with my critters. You may be wondering now, "but what about the cat sitting, what is that like??" Well, if you have a cat, you already know what is entailed in caring for one! :) Taking care of the kitties, while obviously the most important aspect of cat sitting, is not necessarily the biggest aspect of it. There is a lot of driving, planning, changing plans due to someone cancelling / requesting visits. It involves a lot of work and a lot more time than just the 30 minutes that go into caring for the kitties at each visit. I've had a few people, after I told them about my Thanksgiving cat sitting adventures, ask me, "Why on earth would you want to do this?" Well, how to put this... I really enjoy doing anything to help kitties. And as any pet owner knows, there is a lot more to taking care of a pet than just playing with it. Same for cat sitting - there's a lot more to it than just being with the cats. Doesn't make it any less rewarding, it's just part of the package. Yes, I was tired. Yes, I was happy to see the holidays come to an end, lol. Hey, who doesn't look forward to "Friday" (whatever your "Friday" may be)? But it feels right. And yes, I've driven in snowstorms, bitter cold, ice-covered streets... That was the real test for me, to be honest, way more than the holidays ever were. I'm terrified of driving in the snow! But, I faced my fears, because there was a little cat that needed me.

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