Cat-sitting Disaster - What Happens Now



  • CreaganCreagan Registered User regular
    bowen wrote: »
    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.

    Again, losing the cats isn't really the big problem. The problem is she didn't own up to the mistake when she finally did call, and then tried to make it out like her elementary-school aged children were the reason the cats got out.

    That's the major issue here. Which I have stated. Several times.

    Take the cats out of the equation. Just focus on the fact that she, a grown woman, tried to claim something bad happened to a thing she was responsible for... because her elementary-school aged kids didn't properly complete a task she gave them.

    How is that acceptable behavior?

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    Perspective and context matter a lot in these kinds of situations, and I feel like people are making snap judgments based on a particularly biased telling of the events.

    This is H/A, not Responsibility Tinder. It's not helpful or constructive to tell someone who has to maintain a working relationship with another person to simply jump on the judgy bandwagon and tell them that they are 100% morally correct AND that they should simply treat that person as a lesser human being not worthy of any and all social interaction. This is especially true if, again, you only have one side of the story.

    Also, I'd reiterate the point I made in my super-long post earlier, which is that experience and expectations matter quite a bit in these cases. If you do not have children, then you don't understand the sheer amount of physical and psychological effort it would take to expect them not to break anything, intentionally or not, for longer than 30 minutes at a time. If you do not have cats, then those same issues arise, albeit to a lesser extent. For those of you who have had cats before, do you remember the first time you left your cat outside? Did you behave perfectly responsibly and do the exact right thing the whole time, or did you maybe freak out a little bit? More particularly, would you feel comfortable having everyone else judge you as a terrible pet owner and an irresponsible human being, point blank, because your cat got out?

    I've reread the OP's post several times, and there's nothing in that story to indicate that the housesitter did anything particularly egregious. If you take out all of the (understandable) language and vitriol regarding implied motives and blame-shifting, and instead focus on actual behavior, it's hard to make a case either way. Did she do the job perfectly? Obviously not. But is it worth all of this anger and outrage? Not at all.

    A lot of people seem to be focusing on a dimension of this issue that is not salient to the OP's reques - namely, that of placing blame and finding the moral high ground instead of finding a way to maintain a working relationship.

    Your Random Fact of the Day: Studies have shown that doctors who apologize after making an error see a significant drop in their rate of malpractice lawsuits.

    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.
  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    Okay I think the OP has the idea

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
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