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Expert opinions needed

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I need a little cat help from the experts. Several months ago I cat sat for a coworker who has 4 cats. It turned into a real fiasco as I had to take one of the cats to the vet and hurt my back trying to get him into his crate, down the stairs of her apartment bldg. and into my car. Plus she keeps the litter boxes in her furnace room - 6 boxes in a small unventilated area that reeked havoc with my allergies. I think you know what's coming next.....today at work she asked me to cat sit again and I almost fainted. I think I did too good of a job. Anyway, I have watched people's cats many times in the past and have always found it to be a pleasant experience but not this time. I was searching for excuses but didn't want to make it obvious. What should I say, what should I do? It's really awkward when you work with someone and see them every day of the week.
post #2 of 11
Is it really that bad for just a few days of catsitting?
post #3 of 11
Do you have kids...? I always use mine as an excuse to get out of going or doing things. Especially if someone asks me during one of the few days that I get for a break. Or the classic, youre really busy during that time period and dont think you will be able to help her out this time.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WhosaMyHercules View Post
Do you have kids...? I always use mine as an excuse to get out of going or doing things. Especially if someone asks me during one of the few days that I get for a break. Or the classic, youre really busy during that time period and dont think you will be able to help her out this time.
Yes, I have kids but the locks on her doors are tricky and I wouldn't want the kids going to a strange apartment by themselves. Plus she asked me to sit and doesn't know my kids so my conscience would bother me if I did that. I did tell her I would have to go home and check the dates but since it's a work week and I'll be at work I don't think she'll believe that. And I know if I continue to cat sit it will set a precedent. My hubby keeps telling me I don't know how to say No!
post #5 of 11
Why not just be honest? That's always the best policy.

It sounds to me like the real problem is the litter boxes being in such a confined area and your allergies.

If that were amended, would you be more inclinded to watch her kitties then? If so then just explain to her that you will do it, but she has to come up with some other arrangement for the litter boxes because of your allergies.

If you just don't want to watch them at all, then just be honest and tell her that you don't feel up to cat sitting right now, and have things going on in your life that are keeping you busy and that you hope she understands.

Does she have a backup plan about her cats when she goes away? Or does she just fill up food and water dishes and hope for the best while she's gone? If she does stuff like that I would be wearing a hospital mask and taking allergy pills just to check in on those babies and make sure they are ok.
post #6 of 11
I second Natalie's suggestion. If your friend is responsible enough that you know the cats will be cared for either way, just explain about your allergies and ask if she has someone else she can call on this time. If she's a reasonable person, she'll understand.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neely View Post
Yes, I have kids but the locks on her doors are tricky and I wouldn't want the kids going to a strange apartment by themselves. Plus she asked me to sit and doesn't know my kids so my conscience would bother me if I did that.
I think she meant use the kids-or doing something with the kids- as an excuse not to cat sit during that time. Not put them to work.

I'd just say I was busy if I didn't want to do it and leave it at that.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Does she have a backup plan about her cats when she goes away? Or does she just fill up food and water dishes and hope for the best while she's gone? If she does stuff like that I would be wearing a hospital mask and taking allergy pills just to check in on those babies and make sure they are ok.
Her backup plan is her sister who does not like pets and comes over as little as possible. The last time I watched her cats she told me I could wait 3 days inbetween visits. I don't know about you but when I go out of town and I have someone watch my pets I ask them to come twice a day. I worry a lot about my babies. And since you mentioned hospital mask that's exactly how I felt when I went over last time.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neely View Post
Her backup plan is her sister who does not like pets and comes over as little as possible. The last time I watched her cats she told me I could wait 3 days inbetween visits. I don't know about you but when I go out of town and I have someone watch my pets I ask them to come twice a day. I worry a lot about my babies. And since you mentioned hospital mask that's exactly how I felt when I went over last time.
Then I would probably do it then, I felt the same way when our beloved Sambo was still here, my neighbor would come over several times a day to let him out and do his job. She would also come over during bad weather because she knew he would be scared.

Maybe your co worker is asking you because she knows she can trust you.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
Why not just be honest? That's always the best policy.

It sounds to me like the real problem is the litter boxes being in such a confined area and your allergies.

If that were amended, would you be more inclinded to watch her kitties then?...
I agree! Maybe she could change those things while you care for the cats. If I were her, I'd really appreciate you caring for them. For us, it's a hardship to our friends who are competent, and we had a really bad experience with an incompetent pet sitter recommended by our vet's office.
post #11 of 11
Depending on how many cats she has, and how long she will be gone, maybe tell her you will come over and give them food and water, but say you can not do the litter boxes because of allergies and the room they are in. If they're ok with them not being cleaned every day (her sister comes over every 3 days, right?) then if its just a weekend trip they should be fine. And, honestly, if the litterboxes are moved that may cause even more problems.

If you really don't want to do it, tell her no. Like someone else said, use your kids as an excuse...too busy that week with everything the kids have going on...sorry!
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