Sunday, February 23, 2014

Law & Order: Pet Sitting Unit

[names changed for privacy]
One of the written requests I ask of my clients is to have them to please inform me of any visitors or house guests, housekeepers or maintenance personnel that may be present during the course of my pet sitting visits.  This is particularly important for me because...I'm naturally suspicious.  Deep down inside I'm a frustrated detective.

One of my clients, a delightful young couple, Angela and Dave with two just as delightful little dogs, had recently moved to a different apartment within the same complex.  On perhaps the second or third visit to the new apartment I greeted the dogs in the same sing-song voice I greet all my dogs.  I don't do it when I know someone's present because that's just embarrassing.

A male voice uttered "hello" from the sofa.  I thought it was Dave home from work.  It was not.  It was a gentleman I had never seen before nor informed about.  I immediately identified myself, and trust me if I had a badge I would've whipped it out.   He did not do the same so I asked him who he was.  He said his name was "Cliff."    That was it.  No explanation of who he was or anything.

I left the apartment with the dogs...and my purse!  I immediately texted Angela and Dave informing them that I ran into someone named "Cliff" at the apartment.  And I purposefully put Cliff in quotations because that may or may not have been his real name.  I did not hear back from either of them.

I completed the walk and returned to the apartment careful to look for signs of a struggle or blood or anything out of the ordinary.  "Cliff" was still there.  I made sure my back was never to him as I left the apartment.  I immediately got back on my cell and texted Angela and Dave something to the effect of, "I don't know who this "Cliff" guy is and you guys haven't responded which worries me. So if you don't respond within the next 10 minutes, I'm calling the cops!"

Five seconds later I get a text from Angela, "Oh my gosh!  I'm so sorry we forgot to tell you Cliff is our roommate!  He's Dave's best friend.  Please don't call the cops.  I'm so sorry!"  Right after that I get a text from Dave, "LOL!  That's funny. Yes, Cliff is our new roommate.  Sorry we forgot to tell you.  I started to text back, 'Cliff who?!'"  I literally laughed out loud to that one.

Later I learned poor Cliff was not happy about the fact that they didn't tell me, or that I was about to go all Law&Order on him.  We all got a good chuckle out of it.  However,  I'll still have no problem calling out suspicious activity in or around my clients' dwellings.  It's just part of the job of...The P.S.I.: Pet Scene Investigation unit.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Pilled Cat

Ever since being a pet owner, before my professional pet sitting days, I've always prided myself on being able to administer meds to cats.  Whether the meds be pills, liquids, shots, inhalers or topical ointments; I had never met a cat that I couldn't "pill."  

There arose a request from another pet sitting company for whom I work as an independent contractor.  The bulletin went something like this, "We are looking for someone to help administer medication to a difficult cat.  Any cat whisperers out there?"  I immediately responded.  Trying not to sound too cocky I replied, "I've never met a cat I couldn't 'pill.'"

I was given the morning shift of the assignment and another pet sitter was doing the evening shift.  I met her at the home where she showed me where everything was.  She asked if I wanted to try to give Kitty (as I'll call him) his medication.  Positioning myself behind Kitty in a crouched position I gave him his liquid meds.  The other pet sitter was awed at my deft handy work and gave me congratulatory praises.  Kitty however, gave me a condemning look that said, "There will be blood..."

Like the calm in the eye of a hurricane, the next morning Kitty was abnormally still, watching my every move as I went about freshening the water, cleaning out the food bowl, putting fresh food in and cleaning out the litter box.  It was now time for Kitty's medication...and Kitty knew it!

If the Flash had a pet, it would have been Kitty.  However, not to be defeated and have my untarnished "pilling" record blemished, I was able to corner Kitty in a small bathroom.  

There is a method to opening a cat's mouth to administer medication.  You gently press in on the sides of the mouth to get them to open automatically.  It is then that you can give the medication.

Somehow, in that small bathroom of doom, after getting Kitty to open his mouth he managed to powerfully and supernaturally clamp down on one of my fingers!  So much so that he did not let go until there was a small puncture wound.  There was blood, yes, lots of blood.  And all of it was mine.

No medication was ingested by Kitty that day; yet the sweet taste of my humiliation and defeat was the panacea for all his ills.  And like a kitten's saucer of pure milk left out in the sun too long, my pilling record is forever soured.