House-sitting is an interesting venture. It’s like you’re a guest in someone’s home but the host is not actually there. No, they’ve left you a list of instructions, showed you how to work the dishwasher and then taken off on holiday.
Which is fine, it’s kind of like you are on holiday too – except you have to feed the cats, take out the rubbish, mow the lawn and clean the house. But again, it’s all for free and you get to clear out the fridge of whatever they’ve left behind.
My first foray into house-sitting has certainly been a lesson in domesticity. Looking after a four bedroom house takes a bit more work than a one bedroom apartment. It’s also been a learning curve with household appliances – I vowed I wasn’t going to use the dishwasher and I’ve used it at least four times already – and gardening – I used a flymo and survived.
Looking after two cats has also been interesting. Burmese I read on Wikipedia are ‘kittenish’ by nature and also have the tendencies of dogs, which means they like human company and can also be taught to fetch. I don’t know about the fetching but they certainly like company if scratching at my door at 6am most mornings is anything to go by.
Cats will be cats as well, and so far I’ve rescued a bee, a spider, a mouse, an electronic collar from the next door neighbours garden (after a fight with a neighbouring stray tore it off) and broken up a furry squabble with a broom.
It wasn’t the cats I was looking after thank god, but two strays clawing each other outside in the driveway with such ferocity that bits of fur flew off everywhere. No it wouldn’t be a good look for the hosts to come back and find one of their pets with a missing ear!
Such are the worries of a house-sitter, at least I can de-stress in front of the 40 inch TV – now that’s what I call a perk of the job.