In case you’re looking for extra work. Or a cat.

24 Oct
Unless you want this cat in a box to become a dick in a box, you better feed it.

Unless you want this cat in a box to become a dick in a box, you better feed it.

Alan and I are getting ready to venture to California for vacation. It’s the first time we will both have been out of town together, so we need to get a cat sitter for Miss Moneypenny. Sure, I have friends who would probably help me out, but I don’t want to saddle someone with kitty care for a full week, so I decided to bring in a professional.

Specifically, the professional is a woman named Mike who lives a mile from me and seems to love cats. (Actually, I wrote that sentence before she came over for the intro visit, so I was making a few assumptions, not least of which was that she loves cats. And also that Mike is a woman. As it turns out, Mike confessed to being somewhat allergic to cats, but I remain optimistic that Miss Moneypenny will charm her into some snuggles.)

So at this point, she has come and met Miss Moneypenny, and I think they’ll get along well enough. I mean, Miss Moneypenny is a cat and Mike will be feeding her. For most cats, that’s enough, right? Cross your fingers, because I don’t want to come home to any revenge pee.

Anyway, I jotted down some notes from my conversation with Mike, in case YOU ever want to catsit Miss Moneypenny. Here are the highlights:

So this is Miss Moneypenny. But you can call her whatever you want because she doesn’t really respond to her name. 

She likes to play with this rainbow toy, and this feather toy – but don’t tug too hard when she has it in her mouth because I’m scared you might rip her tooth out. 

Here’s her litterbox. I scoop it in the morning and the evening so that my place doesn’t smell like cat shit. And please go straight to the garbage chute down the hall and throw it away so it doesn’t sit in my trash can.  Also – this Swiffer duster is so you can sweep any random dots of litter back to the box so it doesn’t get tracked around my place.

And here’s her food area. She gets this hairball control dry food, with a bit of this protein kibble sprinkled on top for kicks. And this dish here is for her wet food, which she gets twice each day. A few things on that – and this probably sounds OCD, but it’s why I’m paying you instead of just leaving a pile of food out for her…

Please recover the tin of food using this piece of saranwrap and rubberband between meals rather than using a new piece of saranwrap each day. When you finish a tin, please rinse it out so I can recycle it. And you’ll need to add water to the food, stirring it until it’s the texture of runny refried beans. She likes it that way. Oh – and please only use THESE forks. I don’t like anything that touches human food to touch cat food. 

When you get here, she’ll probably be excited to see you, so if she runs toward my bedroom, it means she’s going to flop down on the rug and roll around so you can pet her.

And I forgot to tell you… she is very talkative, so be sure to ask her lots of questions. She’ll answer you, but her response always sounds like she’s saying, “No,” or, “Now,” so you’ll probably want to come up with questions that work with those responses. Unless you want to sound crazy. 

Image Source:

PS: When I just spell-checked this, here’s what WordPress accused me of misspelling: rubberband, refried, kibble and chute. I’ll admit, chute made my scratch my head. But then I remembered “Chutes & Ladders” and knew that I was still smarter than my computer. For now.

13 Responses to “In case you’re looking for extra work. Or a cat.”

  1. dianeskitchentable October 24, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

    Now I could be way off base with this & I’m sure Mike is great, but my experience with cat sitters for myself & watching neighbors who’ve used them is not quite what you think you’re paying for. They may listen to all your instructions, nod appropriately & then fly by once a day to fling some food in a dish before they’re gone. Maybe every couple days the litter box will get scooped. Of course when you get back you’ll hear about all the fun they had ‘playing’ & how great Miss Moneypenny is. Not to saddle you’re friends but it wouldn’t be a bad idea if they just wanted to swing by w/no obligation to keep the little furball company. By the way, did Miss Moneypenny read your post? She’s looking a little pissed off.
    And that picture’s not of a crazy cat lady’s cat. If it were the cats would be properly color coordinated. Why, you’ve got the black & white cats all mixed in with calicos & browns…really they should be sorted.

    • pithypants October 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm #

      Funny that you mention the mixed up cats – when I grabbed that photo, I was like, “No, no, no…” and was tempted to chop it up and reorganize it. But I don’t have Photoshop, so you’re stuck with the scrambled cats.

  2. thesinglecell October 24, 2013 at 8:25 pm #

    “It’s the first time we will both have been out of town together.”
    I call shenanigans.
    Also? You don’t have kids because you couldn’t possibly leave them with a babysitter if this is how you are about the cat.
    I mean that with all kinds of niceness.

    • popdialectic October 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      Ha. To clarify, it’s our first vacation since the arrival of Her Highness.

    • pithypants October 28, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      You’re 100% correct. I’m worried that my cat sitter is going to cause my perfect cat to pee on the floor. I’d definitely be a teacher’s nightmare. See? I’m wise not to reproduce!

      • thesinglecell October 28, 2013 at 10:32 pm #

        You know, I feel sure, that I am supportive of this self-aware principle.

  3. lexy3587 October 25, 2013 at 10:15 am #

    I have a huge amount of paranoia about my dog – when we’ve gone away, I’ve left him with friends, because they know me well enough to already accept the crazy, and embrace the point-form ‘how your work-day should go’ and ‘how your weekend day should go’ dog routine schedules I make up, or the printout including “streets that have a lot of outdoor cats, be warned”, “houses whose dogs upset my dog, so you should cross the street”, and “description of this asshole guy and his asshole dog who has now tried to take a bit out of my dog twice, so don’t trust him!”. And I can hopefully rely on them to follow at least half of it 😛
    your cat has the most unimpressed face in this photo. “You… take a photo of… me?! how dare you.”
    have fun on your vacation 🙂

    • pithypants October 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

      See – I’d actually APPRECIATE your instructions. And I love that you describe the people/pets he encounters as “this asshole guy and that asshole dog.” I can already picture them.

  4. emphasisonjoy October 26, 2013 at 8:20 am #

    First, you are by far the funniest person I know. Second, please write a book so I can read it. Third, you are by far the oddest person I know. That may also say something about me, but face it, you’re odd. Perhaps you should invent a REAL cat fork rather than risk your own “human forks” – wait, too late, they have one:

    Which may say more about how many people are odd like you rather than odd like me 😉
    Seriously, you crack me up! Thank you for being you. Safe travels!

    • pithypants October 28, 2013 at 8:15 pm #

      Thanks. I now feel validated. And also like a failure for not capturing the cat fork market.

  5. Lorna's Voice October 28, 2013 at 11:28 am #

    During the days when I had 2 dogs, two cats and a cockatoo, the instruction list for our pet sitter was six pages long. We only went away once. It didn’t turn out well. I hope you and everyone at home enjoy your trip! 😉

    • pithypants October 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

      I think your problem was that your pets WERE a food chain. So if the pet sitter was late… cat eats cockatoo, dog eats cat… DISASTER. In hindsight, maybe the only thing that could’ve made this crazier would be the addition of a few worms and a bobcat.

      • Lorna's Voice October 29, 2013 at 9:41 am #

        Didn’t I mention the Bobcat, Bob? 😉

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