Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Adventures in Pet Sitting

Days begin before dawn

Some years back when the economy was trashed I decided to augment my "entitlement" SS check by taking on another self-employment option. Pet and property sitting seemed perfect. And at the time one of the big movers in the business had moved out of the area. Gasoline prices where out of the world and so I restricted myself to the center of Angel Fire south. Yes, I do not have to drive as far but my area is more wild.

Morning of the Elk
 Herd of elk on the snow one morning driving to feed a kitty. A drive slow and keep my eyes and ears open. We live in bear country.

Oops wrong picture - Albuquerque Zoo

But just last week while driving down a client's driveway I found myself surrounded by a herd of elk in the dark. And on opposite sides of my aging Corolla were two rutting bulls grunting and bugling over the cows and their calves from this spring. Yes, I had the camera but I do not have a night lens. The Corolla is beige and I hoped the elks night vision was better than mine.

And just this morning, unable to find the switch that illuminated the path from house to barn I caught a huge dark shape in a grove of aspen beside the trail. Too short to be an elk and it growled at me. Well it sounded like a growl. I raised the camera, put it on auto and pressed the flash button. It was a large Angus bull surrounded by his herd of cows and calves. Later I captured the picture of the small herd that seemed more afraid of me thankfully.

Maverick herd?

Nobody mentioned the cattle. But they do seem to be self-feeding. Most adventures in pet sitting are of the phantom cat nature. You have been asked to look after two beloved cats and for days you only see one. Worse than one accidentally getting out is that it accidentally got locked into some closed off segment of the house. I have become a pretty good estimator on volume of food gone, etc. And not bad at deducing where the phantom cat is hiding. Though sometimes I never see them.

I can become overly attached to the pets I sit. And my own pets often complain they do not get the same standard of commitment. I explain they are able to get pet food because of this side job. And they do get interesting play dates.


  1. you do have some extremely interesting events in your life.

  2. Yes, Ien, I do eat elk when friends that hunt give it to me. It is a wonderfully lean meat which does not taste gamy like deer.


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