Cat-sitting woes

I haven’t been posting a lot lately because I’ve been planning a trip to.. Europe! It is my first time overseas. We’ll be going to Rome, Naples, Athens, several Greek Islands, and Turkey. I am excited beyond words and being an insane super-planner, I’ve been busy on message boards, putting together tours and researching prices and planning out my time in Rome down to the hour, etc.

Greek structure at Hearst Castle in California

Greek structure at Hearst Castle in California. The Greek-i-est photo I have as of now.

Maybe I overdo it just a little.

We’ll be gone 13 days this summer. I’ve put aside a few hundred dollars for cat-sitting. Yes. It’s expensive, especially for what I want. I love my girl. She loves us. She loves people. My partner Lou is home every day because he is working on a new start-up idea. Basically, the only time she had been alone for more than a few hours was when we went on vacation to Colorado for 9 days last August. Leaving her alone for 13 days would be an abrupt shock.

Last time, we asked the girls who live above us to stop in for an hour a day and play with Wintermuse. In one case, they took her upstairs with them to meet their cat. I’m told she hissed at Twix, but then they played. That’s a little different than what I see when she’s with other cats. I wonder if I’m the problem – ie if she is possessive of me and therefore acts up? Perhaps she’d behave better if she was lonely? Regardless, that went well but she still missed us on that trip.

Via webcam, we saw her sit on the arm of our couch, facing the front door, some nights. She’d sleep there, hoping we’d come home. 🙁 She usually sleeps in bed with us but with no one there, I guess it wasn’t as warm and comfortable. It made me sad, of course. It was nice to be able to check in on her on vacation but a little heartbreaking, too.

In Europe, we will not be able to check a live streaming video of her every day. It’s just not possible, given the costs of data overseas and our internet connectivity there. So, what to do?

I’ve asked the girls upstairs if they’re willing to watch her again but they haven’t responded yet. I also have a friend who I hope I can tempt into living at my apartment for a few weeks so someone can be with the cat the whole time. I asked my breeder if she knew anyone around here to take her on. Next up – Facebook pleas.

The problems are two fold. First, Wintermuse has a sketchy past with other cats. Can I really put her in a home for two weeks with other cats and force the catsitter to deal with her attacking them? That would be a disaster.

What? Me? Harass other cats?

What? Me? Harass other cats? (Not a high-quality pic but it amuses me how her limbs are transparent.. she's going so fast!)

Second, I will not put her in one of those cat kennel places. My goodness. They get a few minutes of attention a day. She’d hear all the other cats. She’d be stressed and lonely and in unfamiliar environments for two weeks. I’d rather have her be alone in my own house at least. Plus, what if they ‘lost’ my expensive, irreplaceable, rare-breed cat? I can’t chance it.

So, the search continues. We’re not leaving for a few months but it weighs on me. What do you do?




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