Holy &@)#&$(!! 17 pet visits/walks on this rainy rainy Thursday. I'm wiped. It rained on my head, I got my umbrella. It stopped raining, I accidentally left my umbrella at someones house. It started raining again.
I was super excited to start this new cat job for an old friend today and there were 2 codes that I had to have to get in the house. I was armed with my handy dandy book of instructions in the light drizzle and figured out how to open the keypad on the garage. Got the garage open, yes! Found the key, unlocked the door, went in, hit the alarm code....hit it again.... and one more time.... and the alarm goes off!! And it's loud, getting louder, have to call the owner, hoping the police don't come in the interim... Ugh. There are certain parts of certain days where I feel like I just suck. This is not the first time that this has happened to me, and luckily thanks to technology the alarm can be disabled from a phone. I got major cat hugs after this fiasco. They were completely calm the entire time, meanwhile I'm having heart palpitations.
About 4-5 years ago I was pet sitting at a house where there was an alarm and 1 skiddish cat, but the owners never set the alarm when I came to feed the cat. The last time that I was there, they set the alarm and didn't tell me. This was a very nice older couple, but apparently slightly forgetful. They were only gone for about 3-4 days, however they left no contact info for me to get a hold of them. I had no cell #, no email, no hotel info, nothing. So here I am, on a Saturday night in a small house on a small street with a VERY loud alarm going off and ADT calling to figure out what is going on. I can't hear them on the house phone because the alarm is so loud. They refuse to disable the alarm because they cannot get a hold of anybody on the couples "emergency call list." Seems those on the list were deceased, rendering them not helpful in any way. The police come, the whole street is outside, the police talk to ADT, no one can reason with them! I'm told that if I come and/or go by opening the front door, the alarm will sound and the police will come. There is no way around it. The neighbors are screaming at the alarm company, as am I, and thus it did no good. The cat freaked out and ran in the basement. My only option after being there for 2 hours was to leave a ton of food out and a very long note explaining the situation. I stated that I was there for the amount of time that I would have been there over 4 visits (4 20-30 min visits), plus the massive inconvenience, I was keeping the money if that was ok with them.
When they got back, they called and apologized profusely. They said of course I should keep the money, they are very sorry, etc... The kicker is that 4 months later I see the husband, and he asks for $45 back since I only made one visit. Four months later!!! I immediately wrote him a check and the following day I mailed them a note with their key stating that they should find a new pet sitter for the future.