Pet-sitting is different from boarders (residencias), or doggie daycares, since by definition, it involves caring for a pet in its own home. Choosing a good pet sitter can be an anxious process as, not only do you need someone who is going to genuinely care for your beloved furry or feathery family member, but this person will also need to have a set of your house keys, so that they can come and go from your home while you are away.
Petsitting is a professional job that deserves respect, if done well. It requires people with all the virtues, and, virtues are not something that you can pick out from a carefully worded CV.
We need (and are expected to be) responsible, flexible, trustworthy, reliable, organised, good communicators, committed, compassionate, hardworking and passionate about animals. We need to create a strong bond with the human guardians as well as with their animals. Many people say that they prefer animals to humans, but, .................. really ............... animals and humans need the same things. They need to know they can trust you and that you will care.
Pet sitting is also a job that takes place over holidays , during lunch hours, breakfast time and at bedtimes, once, twice or three times a day. As a professional pet sitting organisation i have pledged to offer quality pet sitting services for 365 days of the year. This is a huge commitment and requires a lot of forward planning, thought, care and hardwork. On Christmas Day this year we were caring for over 30 animals!
To help me with this pledge, i need the right people, as i am physically unable to work everyday of my life for long hours. I am very, very lucky in that i have a great team. I did not find them, they found me, and i want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. I am very grateful for their flexability and willingness to work with me.
As pet sitters we also need to be sensitive enough to pick up on any physical or behavioral changes in our pets.
To help us do that i try to keep each animal with the same carer. This not only creates a strong bond between pet and carer but helps the carer notice changes in the animals health.
JC (Jean Claude) was a big, chatty and very handsome ginger cat, full of character and very much an integral part of his family. He liked to sit on the dining room table to look out the window and observe the world outside.
One night he fell off from this table, landed on the floor below it, and died very quickly.
Sudden death in cats is not uncommon and there can be many reasons for it. Possible causes include trauma, exposure to toxins, urinary obstruction, and feline asthma but two of the most common reasons are heart disease called Feline cardiomyopathy or “heart muscle disease” and feline heartworm. However heart disease is the most frequent.
When humans think about heart disease, they imagine a lifestyle-related problem. Too many beers, too many sausages, too many cigarettes, too much time in front of the TV, and too little exercise over the course of a lifetime are the recipe for a human heart attack.
Heart disease is different in cats. The most common form of heart disease, cardiomyopathy, is not lifestyle related. That’s a good thing, since cats are natural couch potatoes. Cardiomyopathy is an organic disease that appears to have a strong hereditary component.
Cardiomyopathy can affect any age of cat ranging from 6 months upward. It often strikes young, seemingly healthy cats. And, shockingly, the first symptom is often sudden death. (Other possible symptoms include breathing difficulties, exercise intolerance, or blood clots passing into the legs.)
Cardiomyopathy often cannot be detected during routine physical examinations. Veterinarians listen to cats’ hearts during exams, but the hearts of cats with the disease often sound normal. The cats often will be symptom-free at home.
How to prevent Cardiomyopathy
Even though the disease is not easily picked up by a vet, it is a good idea to have your cat’s health checked on a regular basis.
If you are concerned, talk to your vet. He or she can discuss your cat’s risk and determine whether diagnostics should be performed.
Owners of cats who suddenly and unexpectedly pass away may want to talk to their vets about an autopsy to determine the cause, especially if related cats also live in the house.
RIP dear JC. You were, and still are, very loved.