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Caring, conscientious house-sitters

ID: 113a

Name:

Kim and Tom

Is / are:

Couple

Age group:

26 to 35

Profession:

Secondary Teacher and Family Violence Charity Worker

Preferred locations:

VIC Melbourne City, Melbourne North, Melbourne South, Melbourne East, Melbourne West

Reply rating:

5 stars

More information about this house sitter

We are a pet-loving, non-smoking, married couple in our early thirties who have recently relocated from London to Melbourne. As we look for new jobs and a more permanent base we would like to spend some time house-sitting and discovering new areas of the city. We are not strict vegetarians, but generally don't buy meat or eat it at home.

So far, we have completed one three week house-sitting assignment in Camberwell, where we looked after two adorable, but slightly rambunctious cats and two fish tanks. Our approach is to create a calendar for our stay at the beginning to tick off the various tasks at the correct frequency, from feeding the cats, to cleaning the fish tanks, to watering the plants and putting the bins out. Reference available on request.

Tom grew up on a farm near Manchester in the north of England, where he was surrounded by dogs, cats, rabbits, hens and chinchillas. His parents are both vets and when younger he often had to pitch in caring for patients when they were brought home overnight, a duty that memorably once included feeding a small bat with a syringe, whilst it hung from his dressing gown pocket. He is now a maths teacher, having spent the last few years at a school in Wembley, London.

Kim grew up near the Blue Mountains and as a child was inseparable from her German Shepherd, Topaz. She is a keen gardener and keeps a mini-allotment close to our flat in Queen's Park and a wide range of house plants. In London she worked for a charity that supports survivors of domestic violence and she is looking for similar work in Melbourne.

We are relatively new to formal house-sitting through a website, but we have plenty of experience taking care of pets for our friends and family. When Tom's parents are away, we have stayed in the house, walking the two dogs on a daily basis, whilst feeding and caring for the four cats and handful of chickens. Tom's brother lives in a more urban area of Manchester and we have, on occasion, helped out looking after their two young cats.

Throughout Tom's life his parents have had a pair of energetic dogs, sometimes small (jack russells, Yorkshire terriers), sometimes big (labradors, flat-coat retrievers), and from a young age he has been responsible for feeding and walking them. The hills of the Peak District are a beautiful - if often wet, cold and windy - place to do this, and he knows how important it is to give dogs daily exercise, no matter the weather. Since his parents are the local vets, he has been well drilled on the proper way to handle dogs when out and about. Having in the past seen a terrier disappear down a badger hole for several hours, he knows the importance of vigilance and a tight leash.

The cats we cared for in Camberwell were house cats and we were very careful to keep them indoors, we fed them twice a day and changed their litter every day and more if necessary. The fish also required careful attention. We fed them twice a day with a combination of different foods, checked the temperature each morning and the nitrate levels every few days. Each weekend we did a quick clean of the tank and a top of of the water and completed one deep clean of each tank, including a 1/4 tank replacement and a thorough cleaning of the filter.

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