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How to: A Pet Sitter Tames a Cat or Two

Pecan Pie and Duchesse: a primarily dog sitting-pet sitter’s challenge? Look at that fluffy tail!

We’ve Made Wonderful Friends during Our First Year

We’ve just had a wonderful end to August and a great beginning to September as pet sitters. To start, it was Equipaws Pet Services’ one year anniversary on August 29! That milestone made us reflect on how lucky we are to have met our new friends- furry, feathered, full of scales, and human, and the fact that we got to do this all in Miami, our favorite place on the planet. Thank you so much for making our dreams possible.

These past months have also been made special thanks to our two most recent cat friends, Duchesse and Pecan Pie. Their parents went away for a couple of weeks and we were lucky enough to connect and become their sitters. Most cats don’t particularly care for dogs. Well, we pet sit, run, feed, snuggle, and bathe dogs daily, so you can imagine the reception these two beautiful girls gave me when I first arrived. Not exactly thrilled.

The “taming” of the two: kitties need patience and love.

What’s a dog person to do around cats? I took a cue from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s view on cultivating friendship, from The Little Prince:

“I am looking for friends. What does that mean — tame?”
“It is an act too often neglected,” said the fox. “It means to establish ties.”
“To establish ties?”
“Just that,” said the fox. “To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you I am nothing more than a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world….” 

I love that book. Well, I wanted to establish ties, to become Duchesse and Pecan Pie’s Little Princess, special and unique to them. I set about “taming” them to become my friends: visiting them at the same time or as close to it as I could every day. Sitting patiently, looking at them out of the corner of my eye, not uttering a word, because “words are the source of misunderstandings” according to the fox.

Duchesse’s soft tummy begs to be touched. Do I dare, yet?

Cats are never completely tame, you know. But my daily ritual of sitting next to their food bowl as they glided over to eat, my quiet repose as they lapped at their clean water bowl, brought us closer. And closer. And on the fourth day of our taming, Duchesse wound her way around my legs. On the fifth, I bent over and felt her soft, fluffy tail. The next week, I was petting her and enjoying her gentle purrs:

This is the softest fur I have felt on a kitty. Well worth the wait!

Pecan Pie… well, she was a tougher nut to crack, but she graced me with her presence. Sometimes, that’s all you need from a friend.

Pecan Pie loves her space. I love her determined little look.


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