I'm Chels. I blog about science, art, tennis, and my adventures in journalism. Officially, I'm a Science Writer at Brookhaven National Lab and I blog for them, too. Unofficially, I'm pretty awesome.

Or, you know, owsome.

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Posts tagged house sitting

In Which We Take a Walk Down Memory Lane

I was searching for something in my Gmail and I came upon this old instruction letter I’d written to a house-sitter when we went on our Great Canada Adventure in 2008. It begins: 

The cat’s name is Sebastian. We usually call him Kit-Kit or Gubs. Every so often, we remind him that he is Satan. He does not answer to anything. He bites.

I wouldn’t have continued reading, but this struck me because, well, nothing changes. I still remind that cat that he is Satan any chance I get. He still bites.

It continues:

He likes naked chicks. He’ll want to go in the shower with you. If you’re not comfortable with that, close the door before you get in there. If you are comfortable with that, it’s pretty hilarious. I think it’s something everyone should really experience. Open your mind, broaden your horizons.

I forgot that Sebastian used to do this. He would cry and cry whenever I got in the shower, so I’d open the curtain and he’d just get in there with me. He’d play with the water and pounce around after soap suds. He is such a weird cat. 

There’s more: 

He loves that damn blue pillow in Chelsea’s room. Let him crawl all over it. But he’s not allowed in Charlie and Toph’s room. They hate him. No really. They do. To get back at them, he tries to eat the orchid. Don’t let him. Then they’ll hate you too.

Also, he loves pens. And hair ties. And headbands. Don’t give him yours. Give him all of ours. We’re prepared to lose all our shit to this little dictator.

I forgot what life with this little hellion was like. We had to always be on the lookout for whatever he was going to destroy next. I am so glad my parents love this cat because I can’t really deal with him anymore.

If he gets depressed and starts cutting himself or threatens to jump off the roof just for attention, take him to the vet. It’s the Merwin Memorial Free Clinic for Animals. We’re too poor to actually pay for cat health care. If he has some sort of crazy cat plague and you have to pay to replace his spleen, we’ll get you back. But not if we find out it was because of all the excessive beef and chicken you fed him.

As I read this, I realized that maybe by joking about him jumping off the roof for attention, I somehow deserved what came later. Not even a year after that, this little bugger jumped off our third story balcony in our new house. He gave me a heart attack, but ended up in a bush with not even a scratch on him. He’s definitely used 7 of his 9 lives by now. 

At this point in the house sitting instruction letter (which has gone on for two pages already - what can I say, I’m not brief) I get to the real nitty gritty of life at the Whyte house with an added helping of snark:

Mail is where the mailboxes are. The key is small and by the front door. Don’t forget to take a house key to go get the mail or you’ll be locked in the foyer crying and we won’t come help you. Nope. Also, yeah, don’t lose that house key. We’ll kill you and bury you in the Common.

Water the plants when they need it. You know better than I do when that is. The AC is in the living room. If you can’t figure out how to work it, you don’t deserve to be cool. Same goes for the TV, DVD, and computer. You figure it out, genius.

I can’t believe I ever convinced someone to watch over my house. If I’d been on the receiving end of this letter, I would have reconsidered.