12/26/22 So how the heck did you get started, anyway?

The year was 1853. Just kidding. Sometimes it seems like that!

It was actually 2017. Those cats pictured above (clockwise from the top left, Soujin, Tag, Tonk and Smokey) were my very first clients.

I was a single mom to a 12-year-old boy named Kai, working for United Health Care. I’ve always loved animals. I grew up in the country where I had horses and various household animals, and my son and I had dogs, cats, a lizard and rats of our own.

We donated and volunteered for various rescues, and one day a friend of mine that worked for a rescue said she knew of someone looking to watch her cats for a weekend. I thought that sounded like a high schoolers job, but sure, why not! I could use the extra money and I loved cats.

I went to their house, not knowing what to ask about care or what to ask for pay, but somehow, we figured it all out and the cats care happened without a hitch.

Shortly thereafter I had one or two people contact me about caring for their animals after my first clients started spreading the word, and pretty soon I was up to a few clients every week which at the time I thought was AMAZING.

The next year was a learning curve. I was working for United Healthcare full time and pet sitting full time, too. My son came with me most days and it was a whirlwind. I made some big mistakes that first year. I would forget or incorrectly schedule appointments (don’t use a paper planner), I got locked out of homes, I’d have my phone die and got lost, I was not prepared for the wildly unpredictable temperaments of pets that don’t know you and on and on. But despite these challenges I discovered a few very important things.

1)I loved caring for pets, but more importantly, I loved caring for the pet’s people. I really loved becoming an extended part of these families that I would never of otherwise met.

2) I have a great attitude. I always knew I was a “half glass full” kind of gal, but that year I discovered I was a “spilled what was in the glass. This is how we’re going to fix it and make it full again” person, too. You HAVE to be prepared for anything, own up to what goes wrong and fix it, no matter what. If you can’t do that, you will never succeed. Mistakes happen. Fix them!

So when did I quit my “real job” and how did I know it was the right time?

To be continued tomorrow!