Cats or Criminals?
Cats are cute, but some are criminals!
I once knew two cats that loved to "hunt" for their owners' socks and each time I'd come for a pet visit, there would be another sock or two in a pile. After a week of pet sitting there would be a nice sized pile of socks on the bedroom rug.
At another house, thankfully, the owner gave me the head's up that one of her cats loved to open the kitchen cabinets. She said he'd climb on top of the fridge, knock everything off and then proceed to somehow open every upper and lower cabinet and drawer in the kitchen. What a little vandal! I'm very glad she told me about this behavior because otherwise, I would have thought a break-in happened and would have called the police. This was recreation for the cat and he'd sit and watch me put everything back on the fridge and close all the drawers and cabinets. He was certainly a cute vandal.
Most of the time I would carry my "go bag" in a client's house - it had extra supplies I might need and the client's file. I liked to carry it in so I wouldn't have to run out to the car if I needed something. Many times cats would sniff through it and some would try to pull things out. There were many times I stopped a "robbery in process"!
One Siamese cat I would pet sit for was an escape artist. His owner had him in a cat harness and he'd have some free time on the back deck, always attached with a leash. We were enjoying some time on the deck when all of a sudden the cat, like a little Houdini, slipped out of the harness in a flash and took off into the yard. Lucky for me, the cat was a chicken at heart, and let me walk over and pick him up. Needless to say, that was his last day of freedom during the few days I pet sat for him. The rest of the days he was an indoor cat, and I counted my blessings because losing a cat was a close call.
Two very young cool cats I knew loved to pull everything off of their humans' kitchen table every night - including the tablecloth. The couple just had a basket of dried flowers in the middle of the table and perhaps some newspapers, but at every visit, I had to pick things up and put them back where they belonged. The cats looked on as if I was some kind of a fool, knowing they'd just do it all over again after I left.
Why do I share all of this? Well, they are fun stories to tell and memories of my years in business, but I also want to bring out the point of how important it is for owners to let their pet sitters know about their cats' (or dogs') behaviors. Not only will the sitter know what she might be walking into at each visit, but also so sitters won't think a real crook, not just a cat criminal, has been in the house.
We've all heard the saying, "Curiosity killed the cat", and I bet there was a really good reason why that saying became famous. There is always the legend that cats have nine lives, but we all know that they don't, so sitters and owners need to work together to make sure there is awareness of what behaviors are, how they are usually handled, and to prevent really serious problems from developing.