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Friday, May 16, 2008

Cheap or expensive? Depends on how you look at it.

I'm headed on vacation on Saturday, and returning on Memorial Day (I still can't believe I agreed to travel on Memorial Day). One of the things on my "to do before vacation" list was to find someone to take care of my cats while I'm gone. I'm lucky in that they're fairly independent and are incredibly happy to be left with the automatic feeder so they can gorge themselves to their heart's content, so when I'm gone for a long weekend, they're ok without anyone checking in on them.

This trip is over a week long, however, and I'm not comfortable leaving them completely alone for that long. First and foremost, they would get lonely. Plus it's just nice to have someone check in on them and make sure that they have plenty of food and fresh water and haven't destroyed the apartment while I'm gone.

At Christmas, I found a wonderful woman to take care of them. She's a licensed and bonded pet sitter, and not only was she a cat lover, but she also didn't believe in upping her rates during the holiday season, so for her to check in on my two cats only cost me $18 for each time she checked in on them. I was delighted to find someone so cheap!

I was looking at this upcoming vacation, however, and really didn't want to be paying quite that much money for someone to watch the cats. $18 a day really adds up quickly. Somehow, the rate that was perfectly acceptable during the holiday season seemed a bit much outside of the holidays. Thankfully, I found a friend who is happy to take care of them for nothing (though I promised to take her to lunch or dinner as thanks). And while my friend isn't licensed or bonded like the professional I hired, she is someone I've known for 8 years, and someone I completely trust in my home and with my pets.

Of course, when the holidays roll around again, I will likely be hiring someone to come take care of the cats. Maybe it's just because the holidays are a time of spending money, but I'm sure that come December, I won't be upset at all about paying close to $20 a day for pet care.

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