House sitting adventures: Robert and Catherine’s incredible 2018

Annie Hearfield

Nutritionist and Massage Therapist, Catherine and retired Police Detective, Robert, joined TrustedHousesitters in February 2018 after it was recommended to them by friends. Here they retell the story of their adventures house sitting in the USA and beyond, as well as the multiple friendships they’ve made so far...

“We originally thought about touring Europe in a Motorhome, but when we heard about TrustedHousesitters, we thought house sitting was a great way to see the world and care for homes and animals.” 

They began house sitting close to home and they quickly made friends with the owners and they regularly return, even though sadly Ollie, the cat they looked after, has now passed away. 

“We started with housesits in February, locally in Wiltshire and Cotswolds. We had a lot in common with our first sit homeowners such as an interest in health, similar careers and eco-friendly habits and books. Our Cotswolds sit for Kate has become a regular booking, whenever we are back in the UK. We have lots in common, Catherine and Kate are both Nutritionists, Catherine enjoys seeing healthy foods in the cupboards! Kate and her husband love travel and are inspired to be sitters in the future. They also enjoy annual vacations to the same Lakes as us in Italy! We shared their sadness when they suddenly lost their cat Ollie, to heart disease, just weeks after our sit this year.”

Having spent time with adorable Ollie and experiencing the bonuses that house sitting brings –– travel and new friendships –– the pair were hooked and Catherine got to work booking more sits. They ended up with back-to-back bookings over six months! Excitedly, they embarked on a new adventure, throwing themselves into the local community by joining activity groups, which led to them making more new friends…  

“We spent thirteen weeks in Grenada, WI, with two bookings. We made many friends there, as we actively joined a few groups such as the local Sailing Club, Walking Club, and Hash Harriers. We have several requests to return to sit, one of which is for two and a half months in 2021! “

They continued their overseas house sitting in the USA, where they met owner Rochelle, who, like the other owners they had met until now, turned out to be another ‘friend they hadn’t met yet’...

“We headed to Boston, USA. We made good friends with the home owner, Rochelle, keeping in touch from our sits around the world on a regular basis. Rochelle has since joined us on vacation in Italy. We regularly stay at her home as friends now.”

They continued house sitting in Europe over the summer, before heading to New Zealand, where they had their own personal tour guide…

 “We had house sits in France and Germany in the summer of 2018. We made good friends with the home owner in France, who was from New Zealand, who again we stay in touch with from around the world. She put us in touch with her sister in Auckland, where we had two housesits later in the year. Her sister was kind enough to meet up with us to take us on tour of the City, we have also kept in touch with her since.”

Following their New Zealand experience, it was back to the United States, where they continued to build new friendships.

“After New Zealand, we had a housesit in Sacramento, California. We all hit it off so well, they did not want to leave for vacation and we did not want to leave when they came home! We are now close friends and Catherine stays in touch with Sara on a weekly basis. Bryon and Rob have similar personalities, enjoy the same hobbies and had a similar career in Policing, so get along really well. Sara and Catherine share Public Policy/Health interests. Sara and Bryon joined us this year during our repeat sit in Palm Springs, we enjoyed eating out, road trips and hiking in Joshua Tree Park. Following this housesit, we accepted Sara and Bryon’s offer to stay at their vacation home in Sedona, Arizona, during a break in our bookings… which was amazing!”

As well as making lots of new friends whilst house sitting, they’ve even welcomed new members to the TrustedHousesitters community!

“One of the new friends we made joined TrustedHousesitters after hearing our stories! Guenther is visiting us in our hometown this winter, and we are in Vienna prior to Christmas, when he will be taking us on a tour.”

Robert and Catherine have enjoyed highs and lows throughout their house sitting adventure –– we asked them to pinpoint their favourite sit, but they couldn’t choose just one...

 “There’s two really –– one is location, and pet; Palm Springs - we fell in love with the desert and enjoy the dry heat. Palm Springs also provides lots of activities that we enjoy, such as live music venues. Second is Nashville, again for the live music and also for the Bouvier dog we cared for this summer called Devi. Devi was super intelligent, very loving and gentle. All of our pet sits have been really enjoyable. Every animal has been special, with very different personalities.”

And, although they were committed cat lovers, their minds have been quickly changed.

“We were lifelong cat lovers, but after more than 20 dog sits, we are dog lovers too!” 

We loved reading this story from Robert — and we’d love to hear even more. If you’ve got a story you’d like to share about fantastic sitters you’ve met or owners which have provided you with a wonderful house sit, please let us know...

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