I’ve got four spots remaining for Thanksgiving but only two left for Christmas. Please book quickly to reserve your spot. Thank you!
I’ve got four spots remaining for Thanksgiving but only two left for Christmas. Please book quickly to reserve your spot. Thank you!
Summer is winding down as is my crazy 24/7 summer sitting schedule. I have some much needed slow time the next few weeks and wanted to update the Fat Tabby Family about the upcoming holidays. I’ve been meaning to do this every year but it seems I think about it one day then the next day it’s November 30th.
Many of you know that I have an annual holiday party for my kids and grandkids (just had grandchild #4 yesterday!). This is my 9th year doing it – it’s usually the second weekend of December after the Thanksgiving rush and before the Christmas rush. Sure it’s early in the season but I’m always very overbooked during Christmas and everyone is spread so thin trying to make it to all their stops. I got fed up with that and decided to take matters into my own hands and create my own holiday tradition. In the past I tried to close Fat Tabby for a week and this year I am giving myself the gift of sticking to that schedule since I’m usually pretty slow.
So this year I’ll be closed and unavailable from Tuesday December 4th through Monday December 10th so please plan accordingly.
When it comes to the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year holidays themselves I am going to try to limit myself to 6 to 8 client visits per day. Many years I can top 12 or 13 and that’s just too much up here in the mountains as the weather can slow my schedule down greatly during the winter (I’ll never forget the nightmare of the 2015 Christmas snow with all the valley people blocking every road from Twain Harte on up!). Please remember that it will be first come first served for reservations. I’ve never had to turn a client away and hope not to do that but last year really took a tremendous toll on me physically, and it took me weeks to recover, so I want to put preventative measures in place now.
Please check my snow policy and dog and cat sitting requirements under the “My Services” tab above. Let’s make this winter as cozy and comfortable for us and your fur kids!
This post is also going out via the mail to the Fat Tabby Family in the coming week so look for it in your mailbox but if you look at the column on the right and the second block down it says “follow this blog by email.” If you are member of the Fat Tabby Family please follow this blog as I don’t send out newsletters usually and all my news and information appears here first. I then will post it to the Fat Tabby Facebook page but even that isn’t as reliable as getting the posts by email. As you can see I average maybe one post a month so you won’t be spammed.
Thank you for being a part of the Fat Tabby Family!
Today is the final holiday of summer and believe it or not I’m already booking for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Once again Fat Tabby will be closed from December 4th through the 10th for my annual Yule party for my kids and grandkids (#4 grandchild who is #3 granddaughter due any day now).
Please plan on booking ahead as my holiday slots will be limited to eight separate client visits and two of those visits are already taken. I’m determined not to drive myself to the brink of exhaustion this year like previous years but I make that promise to myself every year and have yet to keep.
I will be out of town the weekend of August 24th for a family function. Please plan accordingly. Thank you!
I’m having more and more folks who want to hire me mainly to do a lot of non-pet sitting related things so it’s time to revisit what I can and cannot do as a pet sitter. I am not a house sitter and people are confusing the two.
Pets I will care for: Dogs, cats, birds, fish, koi, rabbits, exotic pets that do not require live meals, small caged animals like rats, hamsters, guinea pigs, reptiles. This is daily maintenance of food and water and includes litter box cleaning, dog poop scooping (if I can find it in the yard), accident clean up in the house, hairball clean up, newspaper changes in bird cages, litter changes for rabbits and other small caged animals. I will brush your dog and cat for fun and if there are too many stickers in their fur.
What I will not do: I do not wash and scrub cages or empty and scrub out litter boxes. I will not scrub your floor if the bird poos outside the cage. I do not clean ponds. I do not groom pets. I am not a dog trainer.
Livestock I will care for: chickens, ducks, goats, sheep, horses, pigs, hogs (have to be fed from OUTSIDE their enclosure).
What I will not do: clean cages or pens or muck stalls. I do not clean up chicken poop – I have asthma.
Wild animals: I will fill a couple (2) bird feeders – hummingbird or otherwise – but the hummingbird food MUST be pre-made and in the fridge. I will not make hummingbird food. I will fill water troughs for wild animals.
Plants I will care for: Any including cannabis – up to 15 potted plants but I cannot water daily during busy season. If you have an extensive array of plants I suggest buying “plant nannies” for the hot season or put them on a drip system. I am happy to water once or twice a week but any time spent watering is that much less time I have to spend with your fur children and my insurance does not cover plants.
Plants I will not care for: Over 15 plants that need to be hand watered – especially daily – or exotics like orchids. I do not have a good track record with orchids.
ANTS: Every house is currently inundated with ants. I will clean what is affecting your pet’s food and water but I cannot clean up all the ants nor try to find out where they are getting in. I will “moat” your pet’s food and water in a larger pan with water to keep the ants from getting in the bowls. I will not scrub up the ants from the house and I will not use poison around pets (or myself as I have asthma). How you deal with them will be up to you upon returning.
I don’t fix broken appliances, fountains, toilets, sinks, etc. Yes – I’ve been asked to do this.
Thank you for understanding what I can and cannot do given my time, schedule, and insurance coverage.
In the past year I’ve had a large number of client illnesses that required emergency trips to the vet. This puts a great strain on both me and your fur child. While some emergencies were unforeseeable many were preventable if what appeared as small issues were given the attention they deserved. This way the heartbreak and extreme stress you and I both suffer will be minimized. Remember: I have many clients and I go through this with each one when there is an emergency. I know pet sitters who were in business for many years and had not one emergency while I have had ten in the past twelve months alone. In two cases the pet had to be euthanized the illness was so severe.
While “poop happens” here are a few things you can do to help prevent these types of emergencies:
I would like to suggest that, prior to your trip, you fully examine your pet yourself. Pay attention to small things – they may be nothing now but could erupt into full blown emergencies with the added stress of your absence. Run your hands over their bodies and look into every nook and cranny. I can’t stress the importance of this enough when it comes to elderly pets. If you plan on being gone for a few weeks a visit to your vet (especially if it has been a while) would be ideal. Get a clean bill of health for your peace of mind AND mine.
Listen to your gut. Is, as I like to say, your “Spidey Sense tingling?” Have you been noticing something is just “off” with your pet? Don’t assume that they’ll be just fine – remember your absence is stressful. Yes, your pets love me and I love them but I am not you. It’s you they want. If you feel something is wrong it probably is. If I could teach my human pet parents one thing it would be to trust your gut.
I understand there are times where you will be out of reach. But if I have called you and let you know that there is something wrong with your pet please make every attempt to be available. I realize that might mean you adjust your itinerary but until I give you the “all clear” I MUST be able to reach you. I do have authorization to treat but there are many times the treatment will either be extensive or, as was the case last weekend, involve the decision to euthanize. I cannot and will not authorize euthanasia – you must speak with your veterinarian and authorize that yourself.
There is now a $50 charge on all emergency situations. This includes initial transport ($25) time spent on phone, vet consultation, paperwork completion, update calls from vet and to client. Subsequent trips to vet for same emergency are $25.
Please help me help your pet and be ever vigilant for their wellbeing so they can be happy and healthy while you are gone.
Goodbye Bridget. You are much loved. Auntie Jan was honored to be there at the end. I built you a Reiki Bridge of Light before the techs got there with the stretcher. You were a very good girl. ❤️ It was my great pleasure to be your pet sitter all these years.
My eternal gratitude to Dr. Cook and the vet techs at Sierra Veterinary Care for being there for Bridget and for me on this incredibly busy weekend. They sent two techs out to my client’s home with a stretcher because I couldn’t get this 175 lb Irish Wolfhound up. They were amazing.
**UPDATED IMAGE BELOW
I want to share this story with you – it’s going around Facebook and unlike most things on Facebook this one is true. I’ve had this argument many many times with pet owners who use essential oils. I don’t care how “certified pure” they may be – cats cannot tolerate them. Period. Don’t risk it at all. Larger animals like dogs and horses are fine but for cats – and birds – they are toxic. This fast of a reaction is not unheard of but more than likely your cat will develop liver failure over a longer period of time. Please just don’t expose them to essential oils period.
In the comment section on the original post found here people are still claiming “buy only pure EOs! I’m a distributer! I can help you!” No, no they can’t. Do not believe the marketing nonsense of these MLM culty companies.
That being said I absolutely do use essential oils myself and yes they are the “certified pure” kind. I make sure if I diffuse (rarely) it’s only at night in my closed off bedroom (my cats do not sleep with me). I don’t use them on my body until bedtime after I’ve put the cats to bed in their room. If I happen to have them on my hands during the day (almost never unless I’m making my homemade body powders and muscle rubs) I make sure I wash thoroughly and wait before touching the cats.
If you want to disinfect the air of your home the best thing to do is to open all the windows for 15 or 20 minutes – yes even in winter (unless you are back East during this cold bombing thing going on) – and let the air cleanse your house. I will also use Sage bundles or Palo Santo sticks as incense and the smoke kills bacteria in the air. Pinion pine incense also works. If you are local to Tuolumne County you can find Sage Bundles and Palo Santo sticks at Nature’s Whole Foods Depot in Standard. You can also check out Benjamin Fig downtown. If you have cats please do not use the cone and stick mass marketed incense found pretty much everywhere. It’s filled with chemicals. I also use real Frankincense resin incense but that requires a lot of accessories to burn it properly. Shoot me a message if you want to know more about real frankincense incense.
Here is the text of the post:
“This is my daughter’s cat, Ernie. He has lived with us most of his 16 years. I unknowingly have been poisioning him since Christmas and feel the need to warn everyone who might be unaware of the toxicity of essential oils. I bought a diffuser and a set of essential oils from Amazon. I gave it to my husband as a gift and also one to my daughter and daughter-in-law. We started using ours soon after the holiday and loved how the different oils made the house smell, trying a different one each day. I came down with a head cold. On the package with the oils, it said that eucalyptus oil was good for congestion, so we had the diffuser going several hours for several days in a row and close to where I was sleeping. Ernie loves sleeping with me. The first couple days I didn’t notice any symptoms with Ernie, but on the fourth day, he was lethargic, unstable on his feet and was drooling excessively. My husband instinctively Googled eucalyptus oil. It stated that it can be toxic to cats and they can’t metabolize it and stated all of Ernie’s symptoms. It also said that without medical attention, it could be fatal! So I took him to the Vet right away! The Vet gave him a shot of antibiotics and another shot of vitamins to boost him and instructions to watch him over the weekend. Ernie hasn’t been himself. He is eating and drinking a little, walking a little better, has some diarrhea, but is still not out of the woods. We also learned that out of the 8 oils in our set, only 2 are NOT toxic. Rosemary and Frankincense. Orange, Lemon, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Lavender ARE toxic to cats and small animals. There is no warning anywhere on these essential oils, which I feel is shocking! We have also learned that the candles we love to burn are scented with essential oils. Sorry this post is so long, but if this helps to keep any of your animals safe, it was worth the rant!!!”
A discussion happening right now on my personal Facebook page included this screenshot from the YoungLiving EO animal page. NO! Please NO! Consult your Veterinarian on EVERYTHING! It’s one thing to experiment on yourself. Please do NOT subject your fur children to experiments. There are natural herbal alternatives available for certain conditions (not Essential Oils but herbal) that have been developed by Veterinarians but always always ask your Veterinarian about everything. Please.
I wish all of you a very happy holiday season. I am booked solid for Christmas and am not accepting any more bookings until after the New Year.
I’ve had a number of people tell me about recent poisonings of either their pets or pets of friends. First and foremost: Lilies and cats. A friend of mine called me a couple days ago to ask for Reiki for a friend of her’s cat who had chewed on lily leaves and went into renal failure. While it’s still touch at this time her liver and kidney numbers are stabilizing and we’ll know more by the end of the week. As the mother of seven little accidents-waiting-for-a-place-to-happen (remember Tigger’s fun this summer?) I take no chances so I have ZERO potted plants in my house. Cats will chew on anything green and with the holidays coming up please make sure your decorative greenery is plastic (which they will still chew so be aware). Chrysanthemums and Poinsettias are also toxic to cats and dogs.
Mushrooms are popping up all over and cats and dogs can ingest them while trying to eat grass. Clean your area of mushrooms if at all possible. These can be instant death to your pet.
Be careful what you compost and make sure your pet can’t get to anything in your compost pile. My friends here in Tuolumne County had their Aussie Shepherd back and forth to Turlock Animal Hospital all weekend. He was lethargic, stumbling, and vomiting. While they knew these were poisoning symptoms they couldn’t figure out what he got into. They finally found the cause: plums. An update just now:
“So I examined his poo this morning and found PLUM in it. A shriveled up plum. He got into my compost and probably ate 50! So then I googled and it turns out the pits are toxic to dogs – they contain cyanide and most dogs die within ONE HOUR of eating a few. Also, they of course cause obstructions. He had EVERY SYMPTOM. How lucky are we? I am so grateful and relieved to know what happened. I literally had a huge cardboard box of them composting in the yard, not knowing it was festering poison. That’s why he only felt better after the enemas – the poison was just sitting in my boy. “
It’s very hard to remove all dangers that your pets can get into (again – remember Tigger’s summer adventure) we can avoid the obvious. Who woulda thunk this guy would dig through compost to eat plums? No one. Just as I wouldn’ta thunk Tigger would impale himself on a gate latch. But we can be aware of the obvious dangers of potted plants and mushrooms and help our beloved fur children live long and healthy lives.
And with that let the Holidays begin!