All posts filed under: petsitting

Petsitting in Bernal Heights

After being told that this cat didn’t like being petted and that she is rather moody I was ready for snappy attitudes and a lot of aloof ignoring. Yet within days she was purring on my lap, sleeping in my arm and resting her paws on my right arm as I typed emails and social media posts.. We made best friends! And this just has to be one of the coolest cats that I have every had the pleasure to be friends with! I teasingly called her ‘Zippy’ because I (wrongly) assumed that she would be slow and laid back.. Instead she had so much beans and it was a lot of fun seeing her chase invisible mice from time to time and bounce up and down the bed. I truly fell in love with ‘Zippy’. If we had a San Francisco home of our own, an owned one, I would have pleaded with her family to allow her to come and live with me. What a super, super cat! Daisy the dog was much …

Where can we go from here?

Our housesitting appointment is drawing to a close at the end of the coming week. We by chance got asked to take on another house-pet-sitting gig from the 1st – 4th of August and I said yes minutes before I found out that we likely have lost the (stationary) RV that we were schedule to move into that weekend. So that was a lucky decision. It leaves a rather big question, especially considering that this is the Bay Area with incredibly high rental costs: where do we go from there? We have a grace period of another 9 days or so before I really have no idea where we will go. I had this wild idea of buying a school bus as an art-workshop venue, I prefer to teach lessons and classes in small settings rather than bigger ones, even if I take a pay-cut as a result. I had come up with a school bus when I couldn’t think of anywhere where I could teach, especially with me being new to the area I just don’t …

Housesitting in San Francisco : View from Bernal Heights today

We are housesitting in San Francisco. The way this works is that we got connected with a family who went to visit family on the East Coast and needed somebody (us) to look after their cat, dog, home and plants during their absence. In exchange for our reliable housesitting duties we stay here free of charge. It is a fair exchange of our time for accommodation. We added up the time that we spend caring for the pets and if you paid somebody the hours that we put in then that person could pay rent on a pretty decent place to live. So while I regularly see the headline ‘how to travel for free & housesitting” in the same sentence on the internet it is not really ‘free’. It requires commitment and time that often can clash with other activities that you might prefer to engage in. For me for example it generally means that I can not go out and explore the city as freely as I naturally would because the dog needs attention every …

Driving a Monstertruck around Bernal Heights – San Francisco

Tales from house sitting #2 As part of our house sitting commitments we also need to move the family car for the weekly Friday 9am-11am street sweeping (or risk getting served a pricey ticket! San Fran may be known for the flowers in people’s hairs, but the traffic-parking ticket distributing people have hair on their teeth and no flower anywhere in sight!) From now on we refer to the family vehicle as “Monstertruck” because it is the size of a small house {{{and from a European perspective this is just completely wild; especially considering the family riding in this vehicle are a child and a very slim lady, occasionally another adult. It would be different if it was a family of 6.. But then I would imagine a VW family bus would work the trick and be so much cuter..}}} Now, for the past 20 years I have spent most of my time cycling, driving or otherwise taking note of traffic on the opposite side of the road to America. Street markings are completely different, we don’t …

When the dog and I saved a baby groundhog on Land’s End Trail, San Francisco

We are house sitting in San Francisco, pretty close to Land’s End Trail and with that pretty close to the edge of the world, or so it feels. The air is amazing here, the silence only broken occasionally by soft voiced fog horns. On a recent walk with the dog that came with the house, dog and I discovered a Groundhog laying in shock, exposed by the side of the trail. My theory is that another dog had previously dug the groundhog baby up and now it was petrified to move. Our house sitting dog pointed her gentle nose at the groundhog and then walked away, leaving me to scoop it up in my XL sized sweater sleaves. J and I took a couple of photos of it while I checked out if it looked hurt. And I then carried it to an area with deeper grass, just meters from the finding location, and let it walk off the little impromptu wooly nest that it had been sitting on. Groundhog baby walked without a limp …

We are house sitting in SF

So it is official: since Tuesday we are house sitting and looking after one lovely dog and two super soft cats, right in San Francisco.   The animals need special attention and a certain amount of company which is why we have the opportunity to swap pet care (and basic home care) for a month of fe accommodation somewhere not far from Golden Gate Park, the Golden Gate Bridge and even a glorious beach. It is quite a commitment that we took on, acting for animals can be a bit like caring for children, in as far as you really can’t casually neglect them because you would like to go and follow some impromptu plans instead.    So our lives for the next four weeks will be planned very much around the animal needs. It’s good practice for thinking about having pets again ourselves in the future ( or even small humans). So far the dog is the impersonification of well behaved and the cats, well we have a hard time stopping cuddling them, they …