The Boys – Seven and Linus
Linus was an adorable little paradox. He spent countless hours outside in the garden and adjacent forest and slept mostly in a greenhouse used to store garden equipment, mostly just coming into the house when he wanted to munch on some cat biscuits. All this would make anyone think he didn’t enjoy human company, but nothing further from the truth! He actually loved getting attention and would come trotting in our direction whenever he saw us, tail upright, purring contentedly, and would then proceed to vigorously knead the ground (and drool!) in sheer delight. He loved being stroked anywhere and everywhere and put up zero resistance when we had to pluck ticks off him. A really sweet and easily pleased boy!
Seven was the youngest cat in the household. At 2.5 years old, he was playful and energetic and the main reason we were invited to cat sit, as the last time they were all left alone to be fed by the neighbours, he didn’t enjoy the separation from his human companions one bit. He got attached to us very quickly and soon claimed our laps as his, demanded attention and gratefully received any cuddles you wanted to give him, purring loudly to show his approval. He also enjoyed spending countless hours outside, but the moment he came into the house and saw us, he just had to find a comfortable spot nearby, preferably leaning on us. A very loving boy we affectionately nicknamed “Batman” – guess it’s easy to figure out why!
The Girls – Kasimir and Emily
Emily was an independent girl who preferred alone time. She became very friendly at feeding time – she loved her food! – but would then dart out of the door the moment she was finished. She didn’t seem to want nor need human nor feline company (she would hiss at the cats and use her body language to tell us when she wanted us to leave her alone), so we just let her be and gave her the space she wanted. Occasionally, she would spend some time in the same room as us, but would always keep her distance and preferred to observe us from above, where she presumably felt safer.
Kasimir was the most senior cat in the house and spent her days snoozing away in a cat bed right next to us on the sofa. On the rare days it didn’t rain during our stay, the sun shone brightly and it got quite warm inside, so she would go outside and seek out a shady spot on the decking instead. She was on medication after a recent visit to the vet and her ears were clearly bothering her, so she preferred strokes away from her face, though she was very keen on giving us vigorous head bonks!
Max & Julius, The Fish and the Greenhouse
In addition to looking after the kitties, we looked after Max and Julius, the fluffy and friendly chinchillas. Having had a fascination with anything rodent-shaped since I was little, I thoroughly enjoyed looking after these little guys and watching them go about their eating and grooming routines, and curling up to sleep together. The fish were low maintenance customers – other than feeding them, we just had to check the filter for potential blockages caused by algi. The greenhouse plants doubled in size in the 2 weeks we were there!