Cat Sitter Diaries – Isha C
What is it about cats that make them so great in your opinion?
The first thing that I want to say about cats is that they’re beautiful, stunning looking animals. What makes cats so great is their individual personalities and how loving and loyal they can be, not cold as they’re portrayed in films. I like the fact that they’re independent and not high maintenance.
Have you owned cats, or do you currently own a cat?
I have owned cats before and love looking after them. Currently I own Gigi, an 8 year old girl cat. I have lived with Gigi since she was 5 months old. I have lived with cats over the years on and off since I was 8 years old myself. Gigi and I share a bond and we have a routine. When I call her name, she comes running, we have cuddles and she trusts me to pick her up and walk around with her. My previous cats were the same, very loyal and loving. I have fond memories of my first kitten, Stinky. When I was a teenager and doing my homework, he would jump onto my shoulders from the top bunkbed – painful but funny. He loved to sleep on my neck like a warm snuggly scarf.
What brought you to Cat in a Flat?
Well, there was a period when I was unemployed for 9 months and considered cat sitting, but there was nothing around that I could find. One day in November 2014 I saw an advert on Streetlife, the online community website, and just decided to apply as a cat sitter. I was vetted, thoroughly checked and had my first booking within two weeks of signing up.
Can you share any Cat in a Flat experiences that stick in your mind?
As I mentioned earlier, I admire how cats can remember you. I have a few adoptive babies who have a place in my heart. Charlie is a tortoiseshell cat, who I think had a bad background. She doesn’t like being touched on the stomach or on the back, so trying to give her a cuddle is challenging. However, when you sit or lie down, she will come over and snuggle right next to you and purr. You could then rub her head or under her chin, but not the back or the belly. I also look after an Abyssinian cat who is so sweet and trusting, who is full of beans – in fact her name is Bean. She always makes me laugh… when you stand by the kitchen sink, she will run and jump onto your shoulders. She loves watching ‘Animal Planet’ intently. It’s always difficult to leave her and go home, because of how lovely she is.
Have you made friends with any of the owners since joining?
I have made great but weird friendships as there are boundaries mixed with trust. The trust, which I value dearly, is that the owners know that their pets, possessions and property are safe when I visit. The friends whom I have made are regular bookers – they know that I am reliable and trustworthy but most importantly that their fur babies are safe.
In addition to this I would add that there is a friendship of trust with the cats. I have looked after cats in sets of twos or threes, and when they’re a pair, you will have the boisterous cat that will always come to greet you and asks for food. The other cat would be shy and hide away as soon as you walk through the door. Regular adopted babies, Eddie and Ernie are a good example. I have looked after them for over a year and a half. Eddie is always outgoing; Ernie always hides away no matter how much I try to entice him out. There was a time when because of building work I was confined to one of the bedrooms with the cats, and I decided to give them extra time as they must have been scared with the work noises. That time Ernie had no choice but to hang out with Eddie and me, and I discovered just how sweet he is.
Do you find it easy to fit cat sitting around your lifestyle?
So far yes, because I am able to negotiate with owners about the timetable and inform them if I might be late because of work or a scheduled appointment. I like the new calendar system where sitters can publicise their availability so that clients don’t waste time chasing up whether sitters are available.
What is the best thing about looking after cats? (be it your own or Cat in a Flat based)
The best thing about cats is that they are always entertaining, sweet and fun to look after. I tend to cat sit my regular clients maybe 2 – 3 times a year and what’s so great is that the cats remember who I am as if it hasn’t been 6 – 8 months, but only last week, since I saw them. In addition to this, building a trust and bond with these cats is a special experience.
If you want Isha to look after your kitty, please do get in touch with her here: https://uk.catinaflat.com/pet_sitter/33