I have a new career.
I am now a Professional House Sitter/Professional Cat Sitter/Professional Animal Sitter.
(Also, look at that goddamned cat. That cat is a BADASS cat and he’s sick of your crap.)
On moving back to St. John’s, I decided I wasn’t ready to start renting again. And by that I mean I was too broke after living in Europe for a year to even pay rent, and the only other option was to move in with my parents in rural Newfoundland and eat tinned Vienna sausages for the rest of my life.
(Nothing against tinned Vienna sausage, actually. It’s just excessive.)
I’ve done the housesitting gig in the past, but this time around I’m doing it for three months straight for two different people. Altogether that’s two dogs and five cats. It’s a good thing I love snuggles.
If you wonder what your house or pet sitter is up to while you’re away, this is it.
I’ve secretly thought about abducting your animals
I get attached to creatures and places really easily, which not only makes an awful travel writer but also an awful animal sitter.
Right now I’m taking care of a polydactyl ginger cat and a long-haired old man cat. The long-haired old man cat is obsessed with me and follows me around the apartment and gently tries to knead my bosom whenever I’m sitting down reading a book. Pervy bastard. The polydactyl ginger likes to lick everything and then he turns his back on me like he doesn’t care that I’m in the same room with him but he TOTALLY wants my attention.
I love them. I want to keep them.
I worry that you’ll judge me over my Netflix preferences
Previous home owners have set up my own personal account on their Netflix while I’m taking over. I read a metric shit ton of books all the time, and my Feedly is stuffed with publications, but when it comes to movies and television…I literally only watch trash. The trashiest trash. Stuff so trashy, I lose five IQ points every time I watch.
I don’t know. At the end of the day, my brainpower is limited. I wanna turn off my thoughts and watch some horrible romantic comedies featuring J-Lo or Sandra Bullock. And oh my god, Matilda is now on Netflix. And also, I’m afraid of someone breaking into the apartment and strangling me in my sleep, so I tend to keep trashy movies on low volume while I sleep…because if someone DOES break into the apartment, I don’t want to know about it until they’re right up in my face. Obviously.
My own apartment would never be this clean
I also worry obsessively over keeping things in order. I vacuum and clean daily. I keep a pristine bathroom.
It’s all an illusion. Your floors are so clean, you could eat your dinner off them. But if you were to ever walk into my bedroom at my own place, you’d fall into a pit of stray clothes and it would take you YEARS to claw your way back out.
I once found a pair of MOULDY SHOES under some clothes. I wish I were joking.
(Having said that, I’m still obsessive over clean dishes and bathrooms. And kitty litter boxes. Recently I bought some scented plug-ins for the first time in my life, thus propelling me at an astonishing speed into adulthood. I even contemplated buying a $150 diffuser, for one hot second.)
I sneakily add my own personal touches
My sense of style wavers somewhere between bubblegum pop and indie pretentious hippie girl. I love colour; LOVE colour. My house one day will be a gay pride rainbow. I collect pretty images and postcards, usually with floral patterns and turquoise backgrounds. I travel with a couple of these images, and even a few photographs from photographer friends.
Then I scatter these things around your apartment, because I like looking at them. They give me comfort. Sometimes I’ll even move your furniture around slightly. I like lots of light when I’m working. For someone with no fixed address, I am inherently obsessed with making a home wherever I go.
It’s like I’m nesting, except I’m not pregnant and I have no mate prospects so I guess it’s just freakishness.
I surreptitiously drop little pieces of me wherever I go — an earring here, a stray make-up palette there. You’ll find them and think of me, and say, gee! She was a great house sitter. And then one day when I’m a broke beggar living on the street you’ll at least occasionally invite me in for a meal. Because that is indeed how my brain works.