My husband (Mark) and I are both retired and have recently moved to Sedro Woolley, Washington from Juneau, Alaska. Mark worked as an environmental chemist for NOAA, and I worked as a research analyst for the State of Alaska, Dept. of Health and Social Services. We moved to Sedro Woolley in Sept 2016 and have been remodeling our home and working on landscaping. Mark has many hobbies, including woodworking and music. My primary hobby is our cats! We both hike and bike ride. We visit family in the mid-west and southwest and also take occasional vacations. We are looking for a housesitter/catsitter to watch over our home and take excellent care of our four cats when we travel. Two of our cats are from the Humane Society, the third is a rescue cat (tripod) from South Dakota, and the fourth is a semi-feral cat we adopted with our new home. All four cats have somewhat special needs, and we are looking for a responsible and very caring, gentle, calm person(s) to care for and entertain them while we are away.
Our Home & Location
We have a large ranch home (over 2,600 sq ft) nestled in the Skagit Valley with hiking opportunities out our front door to vista views of the valley and Mt. Baker. We have over 11 acres that attracts deer, elk, coyotes, and other wildlife. We are surrounded by a mixture of farmland and wilderness. Swans frequent our neighbors' fields to feed and rest during the winter time, and the occasional elk herd passes through our little orchard under moonlit skies so we can just see their ghost-like figures outside our windows. Our home has a spacious open living area, sun room, and kitchen with vaulted ceiling. The kitchen has a beautiful granite island. The master bedroom has French doors looking out to the backyard and a side window looking out to the orchard. One guest room serves as an office, and a second guest room serves as a “sitting room/cat room.” Our home also has a large rec-room that we use as an entertainment room/music room/office. Sedro-Woolley is about a 20 minute drive from our place and Mount Vernon is about a 30 minute drive.
Responsibilities & Pets
We live in a very rural area and are looking for a house sitter who is independent (i.e., has their own transportation) and is very comfortable being in a rural/wilderness area. We are looking for someone who has good judgement and is reliable and responsible. Responsibilities include caring for our four cats, watering gardens during dry spells, and taking care of the house (e.g., taking the garbage out to the end of the driveway for pickup, bringing in the mail, and maintaining house cleanliness). We have an alarm system, so the house sitter will need to be responsible for arming and disarming the alarm system.
A little about our cats: Katy is the most socialized of our cats and will likely want to get to know you relatively quickly. TieTie is rescue cat from a cat hoarder, and it takes a lot of patience and love to win his trust. He may spend a lot of time hiding under the bed covers or outside until he feels it is safe with you around. Trixie is a rescue cat that had a leg amputated (a veterinarian found her with her arm broken from a trap and saved her). Trixie is an extremely intelligent cat with a joy for life, even with only three legs. Like TieTie, it will take a lot of patience and love to win her trust (sometimes food will win you some extra points). Katy, TieTie, and Trixie are indoor/outdoor cats. We have two cat doors that open to a fenced backyard. Phantom (she responds to the name "Kitty") is a semi-feral cat adopted by the previous owners of our home. When we purchased the home, they asked us if we would take care of her and we agreed. Phantom hangs out on and under the front deck of the house. We built an insulated, heated cat house for her that we set by the front door on the deck. She loves to come inside the entryway for snuggles, play, and interaction, but she does not like to stay in for very long. Phantom also will require a lot of patience and love to win her trust....
General cat care responsibilities include the following:
Food and Water: Katy, TieTie, and Trixie are on special diets and get fed two meals a day plus two snack times. Phantom gets fed twice a day (no snack times). The first feeding is usually around 5:00 a.m. All cats get fresh water.
Cat Box: We have one extra-large cat box in the laundry room. I clean the cat box at least twice a day. When the weather is nice, the cats often go outside instead of in the cat box.
Outdoor Lights: I leave the backyard lights on at night.
Play and Interaction: Once the cats are comfortable with you feeding them, they might relax enough to play, especially Trixie. Games include attack the string, soccer (with stuffed mice), charge the tunnel.
Talk: All the cats respond to calm, gentle voices, and they like to be talked to but not have too much attention and focus put on them.
House Rules: Awareness of where the cats are, slow movements, quiet and calm voices, no loud music, and no loud movies. The cats jump everywhere (furniture, tables, counters, etc.). Please do not try to shoo them off or discipline them. You will scare them and it puts Trixie at risk for injury. + More info