Have I mentioned how much I love my cat sitter?
Not only has she fed and watered Buddy almost every time I’ve been away these last few years, she’s done a great job and she even continues to watch Buddy despite the fact that Bud attacked her … twice.
She doesn’t play with him anymore since the second incident, and I don’t blame her. He’s known her since he was a kitten, for crying out loud. I’m sure he attacked her out of bratty frustration that she wasn’t me coming through the door, not because he was scared an unknown intruder was coming in.
Still, Sue’s so good that she was reluctant to tell me Bud attacked her because she didn’t want me to think there was a problem.
I appreciate Sue even more after reading this Reddit post about a couple who entrusted their neighbor’s 16-year-old son to watch their cat and dog while they were away for a few days.
Here’s the gist of it straight from the source:
He was supposed to let the dog out twice a day and keep an eye on the food and water. The cat is an indoor cat and he was to feed her.
Two days in he lost our key so I had to give him the garage code so he could get in.
We got home after 4 days and the cat was no where to be found. I called him and asked when the last time was he saw the cat, he told me that morning. Well we knew the cat was gone and checked our security cameras. We saw her at 5:30am on the camera outside so at a minimum she had been out since the day before. (I can see the history of when the garage opens and closes in our app) and he hasn’t been there that early. I had also checked her litter box and it was pretty clean, so she was probably gone for 2 nights.
When I told him the cat was gone he did come over and offer to go look for her and took off in his car. We saw him come back on our camera with a grocery store bag, so not sure if he actually went looking for her or not like he claimed.
We left the door open over night and she did come home and is fine. There was a good chance she couldn’t have, as we live 1 street over from open space where a pack of coyotes frequent and she is only 8lbs so a lot of other animals could have gotten her too.
Here’s the main part: we decided not to pay him. It’s a pay what you want agreement and given that we now need to rekey the house and he lost our cat we didn’t feel that he took his responsibilities seriously. And the bigger the mistake the bigger the consequence. You may say, well any job would have to still pay you. Yes, but they also can deduct or charge you the cost of damages which in this case will be more than what we would have paid him and we aren’t asking for it, just not paying him. Is that wrong?
The story was posted to the popular AITA subreddit, short for Am I The Asshole?, a place where people can solicit advice from strangers on whether they were justified for acting a certain way in a situation, or whether they were in fact “the asshole.”
Most people who responded said no, the poster and her husband are not in the wrong, and for the most part I agree.
In their situation, if my cat had come back, I would have given the kid something just to keep the peace with the neighbors and never hire him again, but I can see their side of it too. It’s expensive to get a locksmith, probably at least $200 if they only have two doors.
If the cat hadn’t come back, however, my rage would be incandescent. Nuclear. Scratch that. It would be beyond supernova level, akin to a gamma ray burst visible from millions of light years away, with a perpetual afterglow drifting in the void between galaxies. I would not be able to forgive myself nor shake the thought of my little Buddy lost, hungry, alone and terrified, and not knowing what happened to him.
It’s time to send Sue another bottle of wine and a card reminding her just how much I appreciate her.