Club PA 2.0 has arrived! If you'd like to access some extra PA content and help support the forums, check it out at patreon.com/ClubPA
The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

Cat-sitting Disaster - What Happens Now

witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
edited June 2015 in Help / Advice Forum
My husband and I went away for two weeks and one of my friends, whom I also work with, volunteered to cat-sit for us. We live in a part of town that she likes and a pretty nice house, so she was excited about it and thought of it as a mini-vacation for herself. She was only able to stay at our house periodically though due to other responsibilities, which seemed fine since the cats wouldn't be alone for more than 3 days a time. I figured she should be able to handle it, particularly given that she has two children. I walked her through the house and showed her what her responsibilities were before hand and left written instructions in case she forgot anything. I also left a few presents for her kids on the bed so they would have something to play with and a nice souvenir. Obviously, it didn't work out as intended.

About 5 days in, I received a call from her late at night letting me know that she couldn't find the cats. While she didn't admit this right away, apparently she left the door open while she had been packing up the car two days previously and the cats got out. She said she had asked her elementary school age children to make sure the cats were still upstairs (hiding under the bed). Yes - she blamed it on her kids. Our cats are indoor/outdoor cats, so somewhat able to survive on their own. At this point though, they had been locked out of the house, away from their food and water for more than 48 hours. I had her put up the cat door (which we take down when we are out of town). She had to leave again the next morning so I had another friend come by, make sure the cats were safe, and remove the cat door so they would be kept inside for the rest of our trip. The cat-sitter went back and checked on them one more time. All in all, the cats were a little on the skinny side, but generally okay when we got home.

Throughout all of this, I went through a tumult of emotions - fear, worry, anger, frustration, guilt, and finally relief. I know for certain that had any permanent harm come to our cats, our friendship would have been over - not just because of the mistake she made, but because it was made out of negligence in addition to the way she handled it once she finally did admit what happened. I thought that with time I could get over it - and then there was more. A few days after arriving home, we discovered some drawings carved into our mahogany coffee table. It looked like her kids had been drawing on paper with hard writing implements. My husband is a bit of a handy man with caring for wood, but we soon discovered that the etching was so deep that the table will have to be sanded down and refinished to remove signs of damage.

Weeks later, I am still waiting to get the key back from the cat-sitter - she keeps misplacing it. I found out today that she doesn't have my key chain anymore, but thinks she gave it to her kids because they wanted it; she thinks the key might be somewhere in her house. I haven't spoken to her at all about the table. I'm at a bit of a loss as what to do at this point. I continue to work with this woman and I haven't told her how angry and disappointed I am, in part because I don't see how that will make the situation any better. She's been through some hard financial times recently, so I'm pretty sure she's not going to pay for the table repair. I've tried to let all this go (although it's kind of hard since I have to keep asking her for the key) but I feel an immense amount of anger towards her, which seems to grow with each interaction. I'm still trying to figure out the best way to get past this. I wish I could feel like we could be friends again, but because of the way she treated my pets, my home, and the responsibilities I trusted her with, I don't know that it's possible and I don't know how to make that happen. My husband has pretty much written her off, and doesn't want to see her again or have her in our home. We've also agreed never to have a work friend help us out in this way again.

She's extremely well-networked at my company, and while I don't need to work with her on any kind of regular basis, I probably want to retain my working relationship with her at a minimum. I'm not good at and am uncomfortable being fake friends with someone - which is different from just being congenial with co-workers. We do have some friends in common as well and to avoid pulling them into this, I've excluded them from gatherings at our house so that she doesn't find out about it and wonder why she's not invited. I continue to wonder, should I confront her and let her know what happened and how I feel? Or should I continue to keep it from her and just let our friendship fade over time? Is letting go of our friendship the right thing to do or am I making too big a thing of this?

tldr; Co-worker/friend volunteered to cat-sit, did a shit job of it and damaged our furniture. Hasn't returned our key and is clueless that we are super mad. Is it wrong to stop being friends with her over this ? How do I maintain a good work relationship with her and stop being friends?


witch_ie on
«1

Posts

  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    Are there other keys on the keychain? Either way, change your locks since your keys might as well have been left in the street; maybe they were!

    You'll need to discuss this with hey since it's going to keep eating you up. Focus on the keys and the table. Tell her your husband alrwady fixed the table (lie), but wanted her to be aware. Ditto with the keys. Say you got your locks changed because you were worried about your safety.

    Mugsley wrote:
    So now I need to get it trimmed and adjusted, and all in.

    Steam:MichaelLC
  • witch_iewitch_ie Registered User regular
    It was just one key on a cute little key chain, which is why I'm miffed she gave it to her kids. I would have liked it back. We rent, so changing the locks may be a little problematic. I'm hoping she will come through with it in the next week. I like your idea about the table.

  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I've accidentally lost cats while house-sitting. (First time the deck doors blew open, I had the police search the house to make sure nobody got in while I was gone, the cats got spooked and bolted. Second time I had my dog with me, got tangled up in the leash coming inside and a cat got past me.) The first thing I did was look for the cats, then call the owners and explain what happened. And I spent hours looking for those cats, which did eventually come back.

    I was fifteen. Your co-worker was how old?

    My point is, what your co-worker did was really immature and irresponsible. Definitely change the locks. If you do decide to continue a cordial relationship at work or as friends, don't trust her with anything important.

    Based on the fact that you work together and she's well-networked, I wouldn't specifically say you're "angry" and "upset" because that'll lead to a more aggressive confrontation if you choose to talk to her about this. Saying you're "upset" or "disappointed" would probably go over better, and won't leave you looking like the aggressor in all of this. (Meaning she can't play the victim if she decides to retaliate.)

    DisruptedCapitalistSiskachrishallett83143999Psykoma
  • TechnicalityTechnicality Registered User regular
    Something not entirely dissimilar happened to me when I was young. Gave a friend the key to our house to feed the cats, and returned to find all sorts of things damaged and broken. It wasn't really the fact that it had happened so much as the way said friend behaved about it that felt like a betrayal. If you let someone look after your house you have to accept that something might be damaged (as it might while you are living there).

    The fact is people who care about you though are going to want to minimize the upset it might cause you by respecting your stuff in the first place, warning you before you discover any accidents that did happen, apologising and offering to help make things right. If someone doesn't do this it's a pretty big indicator that they value not having to put up with the discomfort of explaining and apologising more than they care what you think.

    Ultimately I let the friendship lapse, and I don't regret it to this day.

    handt.jpg tor.jpg

    Panda4You
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Since you have to work with this person I would just let the whole matter go and keep the relationship as purely professional. There is the concern about the key. Your landlord shouldn't care that you rekeyed the locks so long as you gave him/her a copy if they wanted one. A responsible landlord would rekey all the locks anyways upon getting a new tenant.

    One thing I'd do differently is I would not avoid inviting friends over just because she failed to respect you. That I think is going a bit too far in accommodating her potential hurt feelings. If she ends up wanting to make a point of that then you can deal with that if and when it arises.

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    Anecdotally, the same thing sort of happened to me. I dumped the friend; never spoke to her again.

  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    The table bit I could chalk up to kids be kids, that sorta thing just happens sometimes. it's not like they meant to carve into the table.

    But not making sure your cats were in the house before leaving, and then not dropping everything to find them asap, and also not informing you is almost unforgivable. Their entire purpose for coming over was to ensure your cats were ok, and they did a shit job at that.

    as for the keys, I would just call a locksmith to rekey if you don't get the key back in a few days.

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
    Magic PinkSiskaCambiataLovelyNobodySkeithCreaganShadowfireDisruptedCapitalistPsykomagjaustin
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    You absolutely have the moral high ground here, but the moral high ground isn't going to get you anywhere. From the other person's perspective, they're going to be able to interalize this as them doing you a favor to housesit, and you being picky. If you want to preserve your work relationship, you just have to write this one off.

    What is this I don't even.
    alltheoliveBouwsTgjaustin
  • SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    Your friend made a mistake. I bet they felt terrible about it.

    People make mistakes all the time and they often handle the 'blame' (accepting or giving it) poorly.

    Friends also forgive.

    I've had some friends make some pretty big mistakes in ways that impacted me personally -- I forgave them for it and we're still friends, decades later. I'm glad I did. I do not, however, forget, and keep what happened in mind when asking for favours or trusting them with certain things.

    DevoutlyApatheticLostNinja
  • Reverend_ChaosReverend_Chaos Suit Up! Registered User regular
    sounds like your friend was just looking forward to staying at your house, and cat sitting for you was just secondary to her. She was thoughtless and obviously was naive to think that her kids could actually see if cats were in the house or not, and wouldn't just shrug and say "yeah, sure." without checking.

    On the other hand, as a father of four kids, if the only thing her two kids did was to damage your dining room table, you got off lucky.

    I am certain she didn't do it on purpose, and I think you are understimating how truly different your lives are. My kids took my Kindle charger this very morning, and when I asked for it back, an hour later, they had no idea where it could be, despite the fact that they took my charger, went to another power outlet, and plugged in the Kindle and sat there while they played on the device. Imagine how hard it would be to keep track of your car keys, wallet, shoes, sunglasses etc. if every time you didn't lock them in a safe, your cats grabbed them and moved them somewhere else. I doubt she is not bringing your key back on purpose, she is probably just very disorganized.

    I say you call it a learning experience and move on.

    “Think of me like Yoda, but instead of being little and green I wear suits and I'm awesome. I'm your bro—I'm Broda!”
    MulletudeLostNinjaLilnoobsGreat ScottJebus314
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    there's nothing really to be done about the table; somebody with small children stays at your house, that kind of thing gets charged to the game.

    you'd like to think this person would care more about the cats than to just leave them outside for two days (I mean, come back the next morning and let them in at least)

    the key I would be a bit more forceful about; even if it's lost you want to know the circumstances. If it's lost as in 'fell into this person's couch' then maybe it's no big deal. If it's lost as in 'dropped in the street in front of your building' maybe not so much

    ed: which you can do without having to express how disappointed you are or trying to guilt her; just say 'look, I need that key back or I need to know what happened to it. How can we make that happen?'

    Eat it You Nasty Pig. on
    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
    Siska
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    as far as the friends and mutual friends business, just be congenial to her at work and exclude her from everything else. If you have a couple work people over for dinner, just don't invite her. It's okay to just not be that close to everybody you share an office with.

    NREqxl5.jpg
    do you lack faith, brother?
    or do you believe?
    alltheoliveSkeithPanda4You
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    if she's a single mum with two kids (which it sounds like), just getting by is probably a battle. in the context of parenthood and family homes, none of what you described is outrageous. you asked her to do something for you and she did it. i'd try to be empathetic here.

    bsjezz on
    sC4Q4nq.jpg
    Mulletudedavidsdurions
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    bsjezz wrote: »
    if she's a single mum with two kids (which it sounds like), just getting by is probably a battle. in the context of parenthood and family homes, none of what you described is outrageous. you asked her to do something for you and she did it. i'd try to be empathetic here.

    The root of the problem isn't that she accidentally let the cats out, lost the key, and her kids damaged a piece of furniture. The problem is she didn't tell the owners what happened for 48 hours, and then attempted to shift responsibility for the mistake onto her children. That's why people (correctly) think her behavior is unacceptable.

    NightDragonGaslightchrishallett83CambiataSkeith143999AngelinaUsagiGreat ScottKamarRainfalljoshofalltradesDisruptedCapitalistAPODionysusPsykomaBobble
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    from the description it sounded like the call was made late and urgently when the cat-sitter realised they had been out of the house for a couple of days. and i'm sure mistakes were made. they just honestly don't sound dramatic enough that you can't possibly understand them.

    bsjezz on
    sC4Q4nq.jpg
    MulletudedavidsdurionsMacro9
  • MulletudeMulletude Registered User regular
    Agree with everything you have said, bsjezz.

    Some harsh advice in this thread. Single parenting can be really tough.

    Maybe the overall lesson is find people whose situation is a better fit to your needs next time.

    XBL-Dug Danger WiiU-DugDanger Steam-http://steamcommunity.com/id/DugDanger/
    davidsdurionsLostNinjaLilnoobsMacro9
  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    If it had only been the cats, I would agree.

    But the OP trusted a friend to take care of her place while she was away. The result is: the cats were locked out of the house for two days, her table was damaged, and her friend lost the housekey. Each on their own is understandable. All three? I think it's pretty clear this 'friend' wasn't really concerned with taking care of the place.

    Creagan143999KamarRainfallMagic Pink
  • MulletudeMulletude Registered User regular
    Kids tend to do things like draw on paper at a dining room table and want to play with pretty or cool things like a neat keychain. And, surprise, they lose things.

    This wasn't a malicious act.

    That doesn't mean the op has to remain friends or even like this person. But no good will come from being confrontational with a work acquaintance.

    Better to take it as a life lesson.

    XBL-Dug Danger WiiU-DugDanger Steam-http://steamcommunity.com/id/DugDanger/
    JuliusLostNinjaDarkewolfedavidsdurionsMacro9
  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    I think this may be an issue of mistaken expectations. Inviting children to be in your home for any period of time longer than 30 minutes includes expecting that someone or something will get damaged at some point, at any range from purely cosmetic ("it's just a scratch") to wow that sucks ("well I guess we need a new TV"). Doing so for more than 24 hours, when you aren't physically there, should basically come with some sort of limited liability insurance, because something is going to break - the question is how much.

    From what you've said, the only meaningful damage to anything is a wooden table, which as you mentioned can be re-sanded and fixed (most people with kids don't even bother doing that, because it's gonna get damaged again anyway).

    The thing with the cats is a difficult situation to parse because, based on your description, she wasn't going to be there every day, so it's hard to know if the cats got out and she literally didn't notice until the next time she was at the house, at which point she called you. Yes, she should have checked that the cats were there before leaving, and yes, she never should have left the door open to begin with, but her behavior could fall on the spectrum of anywhere from "irresponsible but reasonable" to "Weekend at Bernie's". This is especially true given: a) she's a single (?) mother with multiple children, and b) she's never had to take care of cats before. For all you guys actually know, her kids let the cats out willingly by opening a window and then covered it up by not saying anything.

    As others have mentioned, you are likely entirely in the moral right here, in the sense that she has damaged your property and was irresponsible with your cats. In addition, her behavior afterwards could be construed as either not taking the situation seriously enough and/or trying to find some way to avoid responsibility.

    That being said, I'd encourage you to take a step back and consider whether or not your own expectations were in line with the reality of the situation. If you want a house-sitter, usually you want someone who is able to stay there for long periods of time (at the very least, every night), precisely to avoid the situation you encountered with the cats (imagine it was the plumbing instead). Similarly, you want someone who is single or doesn't have children because, to paraphrase the U.S. Army Rules of Engagement, no battle plan survives contact with children. And if you have pets, you generally want someone who has experience with your actual pet (so they don't freak out), barring that experience with the type of pet you have, barring that experience with some sort of animal that isn't a goldfish.

    Maybe her expectations were unrealistic as well (house sitting is not a vacation, especially if you gotta bring your kids). And sure, maybe she didn't handle the aftermath in the best possible way, but that doesn't make her a terrible human being, certainly not worth all of this angst and anger. If you hate her stupid face every time you see it and only see a giant flashing neon sign that says "ALMOST KILLED MY CATS" every time you see her, then the only person that's going to hurt is you, not her.

    I'd say that given everything that has gone on, if at the end of the day you have healthy cats and a slightly scratched-up table, then all-in-all that's a pretty good outcome. Consider trying to let go of everything else, especially all of your pent-up emotion, especially if you still need to work with her and see her all the time. OK, maybe you don't trust her with your house and your cats again. That's fine. I have plenty of friends and family and colleagues that I get along with plenty whom I wouldn't let near my apartment, let alone my cats (if I had any).

    With regards to the key, tell her that you really feel uncomfortable without it and need her to track it down, or you will have to get the locks changed. Ideally she would offer to pay, but if not, then just chalk it up to the same reason why you shouldn't lend money to friends or family - treat it as a gift, or the cost of giving your friend a nice vacation, and let it go.

    Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.
    bsjezzMulletudeJuliusLostNinjaDarkewolfeGizzydavidsdurionsBliss 101bowentapeslingerBouwsTgjaustin
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    Just to address the "maybe she just didn't notice!" arguments- I'd buy it if the cats had been gone a day, but 48 hours without noticing an animal's missing is ridiculous even if you're a single parent.

    Cats, like most pets, have food and water bowls. These bowls should be re-filled at least daily. This means the person responsible for the cats should be looking at those bowls once a day.

    Typically even a finicky pet will eat and drink out of their food bowls at least once every 12 hours. This results in less food being in the bowl, and sometimes the bowls get moved a bit. You can tell if an animal hasn't eaten recently, because the bowls will look exactly the same as you left them.

    Given that the food bowls need to be refilled every 24 hours, the coworker should have noticed something was wrong the first day the cats were missing, since the food bowls would have been fuller than they should have been. (As the cats were not present to eat their usual amount of food.) She should have called the first day they went missing.

    And even if being the single mother of two means you're incapable of noticing that sort of thing, it still doesn't excuse her trying to avoid taking responsibility for losing the pets. When you make a mistake, you need to own up to it. Not go, "Well, my kids didn't do what I told them." The kids are in elementary school. As the parent, it is your job to make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. If they have a pet, it's your job to make sure they are taking care of the pet, and to take over if the kids can't do something.

    CambiataNightDragonJulius143999SiskaDisruptedCapitalistMagic PinkSkeithchrishallett83
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    but @witch_ie knew ahead of time that they could be left alone for up to three days. he wasn't asking for royal service and he wasn't given it.

    sC4Q4nq.jpg
    MulletudeDarkewolfe
  • GizzyGizzy <- girl PhoenixRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Creagan wrote: »
    Just to address the "maybe she just didn't notice!" arguments- I'd buy it if the cats had been gone a day, but 48 hours without noticing an animal's missing is ridiculous even if you're a single parent.

    Cats, like most pets, have food and water bowls. These bowls should be re-filled at least daily. This means the person responsible for the cats should be looking at those bowls once a day.

    I think she wasn't physically present to notice them missing. My understanding of the deal was basically she's going over to the house every other day (not everyday) to check on the cats, and her payment was to stay as long as she liked while there and enjoy the house.

    You don't have to refill bowls every day. I have a cat, and she is a grazer. If I'm gone for a weekend I leave two bowls of food and water out for her and she's fine.

    Gizzy on
    3DS Friend Code 3282-2248-0453
    Gizzy's Amazon Xmas Wishlist
    bowen
  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    I've read that the food goes stale and you're supposed to replace it. But even if you discount the food, why couldn't the coworker just make sure she'd seen both cats before she left the house?

    Even if they're skittish around strangers, finding them (assuming they're in the house) shouldn't be that hard and having kids with you is actually a helpful thing. Shut a door, search a room, shut the door behind you. After every door is shut, check the areas of the house that you can't shut off, leaving kids posted to make sure a cat can't sneak past you. It's really not that hard.

    And whether or not losing the cats was understandable, she still tried to avoid taking responsibility for the mistake. That can't be explained away with business, children, or what the conditions of her staying at the house were. She didn't own up to what happened, and that isn't okay.

    Magic Pink
  • GizzyGizzy <- girl PhoenixRegistered User regular
    Oh yeah, I totally agree with all of what you just said.

    3DS Friend Code 3282-2248-0453
    Gizzy's Amazon Xmas Wishlist
  • bsjezzbsjezz Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    avoiding responsibility would have been not making an embarrassing, late-night plea. that's a hard conversation to have and excuses or no, at least she was ultimately honest.

    bsjezz on
    sC4Q4nq.jpg
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    Just to address the "maybe she just didn't notice!" arguments- I'd buy it if the cats had been gone a day, but 48 hours without noticing an animal's missing is ridiculous even if you're a single parent.

    Cats, like most pets, have food and water bowls. These bowls should be re-filled at least daily. This means the person responsible for the cats should be looking at those bowls once a day.

    Typically even a finicky pet will eat and drink out of their food bowls at least once every 12 hours. This results in less food being in the bowl, and sometimes the bowls get moved a bit. You can tell if an animal hasn't eaten recently, because the bowls will look exactly the same as you left them.

    Given that the food bowls need to be refilled every 24 hours, the coworker should have noticed something was wrong the first day the cats were missing, since the food bowls would have been fuller than they should have been. (As the cats were not present to eat their usual amount of food.) She should have called the first day they went missing.

    And even if being the single mother of two means you're incapable of noticing that sort of thing, it still doesn't excuse her trying to avoid taking responsibility for losing the pets. When you make a mistake, you need to own up to it. Not go, "Well, my kids didn't do what I told them." The kids are in elementary school. As the parent, it is your job to make sure that they're doing what they're supposed to be doing. If they have a pet, it's your job to make sure they are taking care of the pet, and to take over if the kids can't do something.

    I'm bolding this.

    Cats are naturally skittish.

    We've had company come over and 2 of our cats 'hid' under a dresser until the company left. How long did the company come over? 3 days. They came out in the middle of the night once they were sure they're safe. This is really not unusual for a cat in general. Despite the old tale of curiosity being the one that killed them, the 'scaredy-cat' is way more true.

    Also most people who own cats don't let them outdoors for a myriad of reasons (which we won't go into here). I can leave open my door for 5 minutes and my cats won't even bother going near it. I do this when I carry in groceries. There's a possibility she didn't treat it like she was letting out precious air inside the home and the door stayed open for 1-2 minutes. Maybe she knew the cats would get out, maybe not. It's not something most people entertain whilst cat sitting. And good luck getting young children in and out of a door in less than 2 minutes of it being opened.

    Cats are the kind of animals you can leave food out, you can just get a gigantic water bowl (or fountain) and a large food bowl and get them set for a week. They're not like dogs who will gobble all the food up as soon as it hits the bowl and then wait for more, so 48 hour gap between visits is fine. Again, she may not have noticed they went missing if they were skittish.

    You all are blowing this way out of proportion.

    Mistakes were made, but they were honest mistakes. Losing the keys is the one thing that's setting me off more than anything. It's likely she just doesn't have the same set of priorities as anyone else. Children come first, etc.

    OP, next time, pick the single, childless friend to do the house/cat sitting for you. It'll work out much better because their focus will be on your house and the cats instead of the children.

    Ladies.
    Bliss 101DaenrisRhesus PositiveKyouguMulletudedavidsdurionsGizzyMacro9LostNinjaJebus314
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    A missing house key would drive me absolutely nuts, so I can definitely emphasize with you there. She needs to come up with the key, or explain what happened to it so that you can decide whether you need to change your locks or not. On this point you have every right to be as insistent as necessary.

    As for the rest of it, there's a difference between being irresponsible and simply lacking the skills to handle a task. It sounds like this woman falls in the latter category: she's an incompetent cat-sitter and a generally disorganized person. I wouldn't hold that against her (but I would never ask her to watch my house again). You could argue that she shouldn't have taken on responsibility for your cats in the first place if she can't handle the job, but she probably expected to do a better job than she ended up doing. That's just the way some people are. The table specifically is something you should just write off as the price you pay for letting little kids stay at your place.

    So I'd deal with the house key first, then look for a way to let go of your festering anger towards this person, because it's only hurting you. I wouldn't outright break a friendship over something like this, but I would definitely have a talk with this person and explain how I feel about the situation, hear what she has to say, then see where our relationship goes from there. But I'd approach it somewhat diplomatically, because I do think this woman deserves to be cut some slack. You made the judgement call to ask this person to watch your cats, and she fucked up; who's to blame?

    MSL59.jpg
    bowen
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    unless the key either:
    1. was the only key you had
    2. Had a giant sign on it saying, this is the key to witchies house

    its really not a huge deal. sure it sucks you lost that keychain but really not a big deal.

    camo_sig.png
  • joshofalltradesjoshofalltrades 地獄のようにかわいい あなたは嫉妬深いかRegistered User regular
    As a single father of three, I can absolutely say that I would have declined to cat-sit if that meant that all four of us would be staying in someone else's house for an extended period of time.

    Kids are clumsy, occasionally myopic little people. They break things, and they also do stuff without regard to future consequences (i.e. writing on walls). Since I'm not even 100% confident that I can keep them from damaging things in my own home (which is just a regular part of being a kid; we all know how awful we used to be), I would never inflict that risk upon somebody whose friendship I valued.

    Since it seems like you invited them, that would seem like a moot point. But as a parent, if your kids must be in someone else's house for a visit or something, you go into it with the understanding that you will need to be hypervigilant. As in everything of value in that place is sacred, and you are ever watchful for behavior that will lead to something getting damaged or destroyed.

    I don't know your friend or what she's like, but it sounds to me like she went in to a house sitting arrangement with the mindset that she could take a load off for a while, because it wasn't her house or her things that she'd have to be watchful for. In fact, that situation calls for the exact opposite. Staying away from home is much more stressful to me as a parent because I know if the kids get out of line and destroy something, I'm on the line for it, so I need to be extra careful.

    You should be honest about the table. Tell her that her kids made extensive repairs necessary and that you're not necessarily expecting recompense for it, but you are disappointed. It's better to clear the air about these things. If she's so upset that you made an attempt to calmly and dispassionately air a grievance over a personal matter that she is going to hold a grudge against you forever, then she wasn't worth being "fake friends" with anyway. I think it's far more likely that she'll be mortified that her kids did that and that she will apologize for it, and then it'll be over. But at least that way she'll be able to adjust her parenting style, or maybe not. Whatever she does, it'll give you more closure on where the two of you stand than just being in a weird, awkward limbo over it forever.

    ジェイムズ・ブラウンの好きな色は何ですか?
    青!
  • FANTOMASFANTOMAS Flan ArgentavisRegistered User regular
    Your cats got 2 days outside, they are alive, and you got a scratch on a table? Id say move on, make peace with your co-worker. I dont mean to be rude, but you are blowing the "damage" way out of proportion.

    If someone would sit me to talk about how their table got marked, not even scratched ,MARKED, Id tell them to f**k off, and genuinely ask if they are trying to prank me, because there is no way that this could be a real world issue.

  • InxInx Registered User regular
    Fantomas, if you reread the OP it indicates the drawings were "carved" into the table rather than marked, and that the table needs to be sanded and refinished. This is far from just a mark on the table.

    Creagantynic
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Creagan wrote: »
    Even if they're skittish around strangers, finding them (assuming they're in the house) shouldn't be that hard

    I've frequently been unable to find our cats in the house and assumed they were outside when they weren't. Cats are pretty good at hiding and can do so for hours. I can understand trusting the kids instead of going to look for yourself, especially if you're somewhat in a hurry.

    I still think the co-worker made a mistake, mind you. The fact that they're not your cats obligates you to look and ascertain for yourself if they're inside.

  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »

    You all are blowing this way out of proportion.

    No. We aren't. At all. This behavior was inexcusable.

    bowen wrote: »
    Mistakes were made, but they were honest mistakes.

    And then they were hidden and lied about. THAT'S the problem.

    GaslightEncchrishallett83tynicAngelinaCambiataPsykoma
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I have a 5 year old and a 7 year old and I don't ask them to take on responsibilities asked of me (Ima be a minute, do this thing that was entrusted to an adult ...). I'd have made sure the door was closed when I wasn't at it, takes little effort.

    I suppose the cat being indoor/outdoor gives some cover, as he/she will likely have all the required vaccinations of an outdoor cat.

    I've had good and bad cat/house-sitting experiences, one where the sitter did everything right and it was just bad luck, and one where they did not understand what was expected of them (my fault). I wouldn't ask this person again to sit for me (cause she sounds flip, but we do have a one-sided story here), but also you should be very clear what you expect of people if you are tasking them to take on responsibility that matters to you. In the future it might be better to tell them the cat is indoor-only just to set expectations and make things simpler.

    It's a bit much to call this a disaster, but I think that feeling is fodder for making sure there is good communication with respect to what is expected of your sitter.

  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Magic Pink wrote: »
    bowen wrote: »

    You all are blowing this way out of proportion.

    No. We aren't. At all. This behavior was inexcusable.

    bowen wrote: »
    Mistakes were made, but they were honest mistakes.

    And then they were hidden and lied about. THAT'S the problem.

    Are you sure they were hidden or lied about? All we have are OP's side of the details, and they were understandably distraught.

    She was packing up the car, left the door open, asked the kids to double check for cats. Absent minded parent, that's how this reads. We're missing a lot of context in these conversations. No one is really blaming the kids or lying or whatever.

    She's absent minded and disorganized.

    Short of losing someone's keys, they're all honest mistakes to me. What behavior was inexcusable specifically? Leaving the door open for a few minutes while you pack your car in the evening? Asking the kids to double check upstairs for the cats while you're packing the car still? Was she blaming the kids? Doesn't sound like it, sounds like she just's saying she asked them to verify and they said yes and she found out they were lying. That's not really using them as a scapegoat more than just being a shitty person and trusting kids who don't understand the seriousness of something like this.

    The only thing that really stands out as brazen is the table that needs to be resurfaced and the keys being lost. Outdoor cats bolting for the outdoors is nothing exceptionally crazy and maybe OP didn't inform cat-sitter of this fact (it's omitted, weird, but maybe she was clued in that they might bolt for the doors if left opened). Either way, like I said, try to wrangle kids and pack a car and having to keep opening and closing a door to keep outdoor cats inside. The fact that OP has a cat door for the cats to come and go makes me think this is not really a big deal at all. Cat's stress when their owner leaves just like any other dog, so the slight weight loss isn't really important.

    Let's not knee jerk here because some pets might have had a stressful 2 weeks while OP went on vacation.

    Let's worry about the fact that she still has the key and is abdicating responsibility in regards to property damage.

    bowen on
    Ladies.
    davidsdurions
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    I just can't agree with you here, Bowen. When you are charged with the care of both property and lives (cat lives, but that really doesn't make a difference here), you take that responsibility seriously. Now, maybe she was just absent minded and disorganized...
    ...and unable to watch her kids...
    ...in someone else's house....
    ...and thus allowed them to damage said house...
    ...and at the cost of the owner's kids (the cats) being harmed...
    ...and then lost the key to the property, losing all sanctity and peace of mind without expensive lock changing...
    ...AFTER being given a free vacation and toys for her kids.

    None of these are trivial. The key is the most pressing thing now because it's really the only thing the OP has to be actionable about, but the person's behavior is deplorable, irresponsible, and downright shitty to someone who gave her a really nice opportunity and swag for a favor the sitter clearly got more out of (assuming all went well).

    Creaganchrishallett83
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    Irresponsible and shitty, yeah. Deplorable? I mean I guess.

    All but one of those is just "well fuck you should have just said no kids allowed."

    I am extremely skeptical of "the cats being harmed" here. They were let out, this looks like a regular occurrence for them (cat door). That probably means they're indoor/outdoor cats that aren't supervised. Why else would you have a door specifically for that? Damage to a house happens with kids, I'm sorry. And like I said, cats will get stressed about their owner just up and disappearing, that would explain the weight loss and probably why they bolted in the first place. Ever try to wrangle a cat? It's not easy.

    The key thing, absolutely. Damage to the end table? Yeah, maybe, how were they drawing hard enough to do that kind of damage to wood anyways? Shitty parents.

    I don't think she did any of it intentionally, it doesn't read that way.

    Ladies.
    davidsdurions
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    House sitting is doing a favor for someone, usually uncompensated. Did they suck at it? Yeah. Will you never ask them to do it again? Yeah. Do you have much leverage to complain when someone fucks you over while doing a favor for you? No.

    Darkewolfe on
    What is this I don't even.
    davidsdurionsJulius
  • ArtereisArtereis Registered User regular
    edited June 2015
    If they fuck you over, then they weren't doing you a favor.

    Artereis on
    Cambiata
  • GizzyGizzy <- girl PhoenixRegistered User regular
    edited June 2015
    Sanding a table vs. $20/day per cat at boarding. It was a pretty huge favor.
    Board 1 cat for 2 weeks .. that's $280. You guys are acting like OP did not benefit from this situation at all.

    I agree never choose this particular cat sitter again, and find someone who knows how to handle cats and won't be bringing over children.
    But beyond getting the key back - I'm not sure that any other confrontation is worth severing a work relationship.

    Gizzy on
    3DS Friend Code 3282-2248-0453
    Gizzy's Amazon Xmas Wishlist
    DidgeridooMacro9bowenLostNinja
«1
This discussion has been closed.