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One of my most anxiety-producing pet sitting visits

How one siamese cat gave me a run for my money

You never know what is going to happen to you when you wake up in the morning and put your feet on the ground. I suppose the same is true for cats.

Whether animal or human, we wake up unsure of what the day will bring. We just attempt to live through our daily routines with our usual expectations. And, we hope, that by the end of the day, we can return to our beds with contentment in our hearts.

On one particular day, I was starting with a new pet-sitting client. They had a Siamese cat, 2 tabby cats, and some fish.

During the Meet and Greet, the client and I covered every detail of duties and expectations. I came to my first pet visit with a feeling of confidence and excitement to get to know my new charges.

The client showed me, with particular detail, how to attach a leash and harness to her Siamese cat. The routine was that each day the client would attach a harness and leash to the cat and the long leash would then be attached to the risen deck. The cat would then enjoy sunning himself on the deck while she went inside to take care of the other cats who were solely indoor cats. Ten minutes later the Siamese would be brought into the house.

The first day went perfectly. The cats and I bonded well and we had a lot of fun. The Siamese on the deck sunned himself and relaxed as I played with the indoor cats. After his alloted time outdoors, I brought him in the house, undid the harness, and completed my other pet sitting tasks.

The second day went a little differently. I double and triple-checked the harness and stayed outside with the siamese for a few minutes to make sure he was settled in his sunny spot. Little did I know that he was planning to escape.

I went into the house for no more than ten minutes and came back out to retrieve the Siamese. What did I find? No cat, but an empty harness laying on the deck.

So, how many ways can a pet sitter think PANIC? My heart skipped a beat and my adrenalin went sky high. I looked over the deck. I looked under the deck. The cat was already of the skiddish variety and only knew me for two days so I thought "Would he even come if I called?" The yard had maybe 20' of grass but then the back and side of the lot turned into low, thick, prickly brush.

My mind raced. I had my emergency numbers, photo of the cat in case I had to make a "lost cat" poster, and I knew what to do, but most of all I wanted to find the cat ASAP.

Also racing through my mind was the rest of the morning's pet visits. I would surely be late for future visits because of this situation.

I took a second and prayed, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and a sense of determination came over me. I WOULD find the cat and SOON. I gave myself no other choice and would accept no other outcome.

I slowly walked around the yard, calling and looking. I must've looked in this not-very-big yard for about 20 minutes. Each minute that went by my heart sunk further into a panic. I had never lost a pet before. I KNEW that I attached that harness correctly and had checked it thoroughly. How did he ever escape?

As I was going around the house for about the third time I spotted him. He was against the house, under a bush - just crouching there. Phew!

I talked to him slowly. Would he run from me? How long was this going to take? I moved ever so slowly. I got about a foot from him, crouched down, and slowly reached out my arms and picked him up. He didn't make a peep. I think he knew I wasn't pleased with his antics.

I brought him back into the house, made sure he was okay and put him down. He went right to his food and water.

I sat down on the kitchen chair, relieved, and as the balloon of adrenalin deflated, all of a sudden I felt so tired. When all was said and done, I let this cat know that he was not going to be allowed out of the house for the entire rest of the time I was pet sitting. He was grounded. I figured better safe than sorry.

The next two days he meowed to go out and I just said: "No way Jose - not on my watch".

So, that was one of my most anxiety-producing pet visits ever!


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