We’ve featured the cat sitter side of the equation previously, and now it’s time to have a look at cat sitting through the lens of the customers. John and Catherine are regular Meowtel customers, and have a six-year-old kitty named Jarvis who benefits from the sitting service. Here’s what they had to say!
Jarvis is six? He’s like a spry little baby!
C: He is!
J: Too spry!
C: We were waiting for him to become a lazy cat and it’s just not happening.
J: It’s not working. He requires multiple play times a day, hence why we have Amy come twice a day.
How did he come into your family?
C: My sister found him. We’re originally from Alabama, and my sister found him in a parking lot and so then I took him. He is the typical stray. He was a little baby; he had a cold. I’ve had him ever since. We just got married in June, so he came out here with us.
J: So, from what Catherine has told me, her sister was actually going into church, which was right next to a horse barn, and she figured the kitten had just wandered across the street so she went and took the kitten and said, “Here’s your kitten back.”
C: And they’re like, “It’s not ours.”
J: And they’re like, “We’ve never seen it, but thanks we’re always looking for cats.” If I’m not mistaken, she was then leaving an hour or so later, and the kitten was back at the door.
C: The kitten was like, “You left me over there but it’s cool, I’m back.”
J: She was like, “Well clearly, I have to figure out something else to do with this cat.” She went to the neighbors around the area, everybody said, “Never seen him. Don’t have a cat. Don’t have kittens.” Catherine walked in and said, “I’ll take him!”
How would you describe Jarvis? Is a pet, is he family or a child?
C: A child.
J: A child?!
C: A family child.
J: Somewhere between family and child, for sure.
Have cats always been a part of your life? And if not, when did you become a cat person?
C: Yes, for me. We always had lots of pets growing up. We had dogs, cats, I rode horses, so I’ve always been an animal person. I’ve never had an indoor pet until Jarvis. He’s my first indoor pet. So again, we’ve always had cats around our house and I, in general, loved all animals.
J: When I was born, my parents had a cat. She was older and died when I was maybe four or five. I just remember stories, pretty much, about her. Always inside. My parents have always grown up with pets inside. Multiple-pet household; mostly dog. We got a dog when I was little; we had two since then. My dad had to take shots for the first cat so he was kind of allergic—so they never went for cats. But that’s not to say that we weren’t cat people. I’ve just always grown up around pets. So it’s never been an issue.
So, you’ve turned back into a cat person.
J: I think so, yeah. For one, they’re just easier to take care of. He’s got such a great personality. Some cats go sit and hide and this one, I mean, I don’t know where he is now, he isn’t really helping, but we’ve had 15 people over and Jarvis has been in the middle, laying on the TV. He’s very social; he’s constantly with us. If we’re both sitting on the couch, he’s between us. He’s very social. His personality has changed me. I don’t have to walk him!
What is your favorite thing about Jarvis? What is your favorite thing that he does?
C: I would say, he loves to, like a typical cat, he does love to nap and we love to nap. We will each have a side and he will be in the middle. He’s affectionate, and I like that about him. Like John was saying earlier, he has a really good personality. He likes to be around people. We like that when we have people over, he likes to come up to greet them and hang out with us. I think that’s my favorite thing about him is that he’s so social and very sweet. He loves to be petted, not so much held, which is fine.
How would you describe his personality?
J: Very outgoing, social, very curious. Loving. Like, he loves Amy, you can tell, when she comes over, in the videos. He’s very excited to see her. Once he gets to know you, you’re always in.
How long have you had a Meowtel sitter?
J: When did we first use her? Christmas, I guess.
C: Yeah; November. Since November.
J: You sure? I think it was Christmas.
C & J in unison: HOLIDAYS!
C: Yes, just recently.
J: So we had her eight or nine days over Christmas, the first time I remember. We booked her again, I guess, when we went to San Francisco. We’ll have her again when we’re going out of town this summer, a couple times.
I saw you guys even booked out in July. I was like, “dang, they are prepared!”
J: We’re planning a vacation and Catherine goes, “Call Amy and make sure she’s available before we book.”
C: Because we will book around her.
J: Yeah, because she’s that great!
C: Yeah, we love her a lot.
When did you realize in-home care was the best option for Jarvis?
C: Probably when we first moved here. We would go back to Alabama for long weekends or whatever, just to visit. We were boarding him at our vet. After maybe the second or third time, they were saying he was really struggling to adapt and that he was very upset most of the time he was there. He had a hard time calming down, being chill, which is not our cat. And so, that kind of stressed me out, for sure, because I always boarded him at the vet in Tuscaloosa, and he was always fine. They loved him; he’s so playful, he’s so sweet. And that’s not the cat they were getting here. And I was like, “Let’s look into some other options.” So that’s when we went on a hunt; I’ve never had someone come into my home and stay or come in and visit, but let’s look into that. I’ve never stayed in a big city like this where that was an option.
J: That’s exactly right. I feel like Amy’s service is cheaper than boarding him overnight at the vet, but I feel like the care is equal if not better.
C: Better. I would say better.
J: Because she is taking care of him specifically when she’s here and I don’t know what they do at the vet. They’re always like, “You can’t pick him up on Saturday and Sunday” and so I’m like, “So what do you guys do? Is someone even there?” I have no idea but I know she’s here, twice a day, Saturdays or Sundays, whenever.
C: She plays with him.
J: She plays with him. He doesn’t like car rides, I mean what cat does?
What drew you to Meowtel?
J: Web presence. I didn’t really see another option that seemed legitimate, honestly.
That’s fantastic to hear.
J: I looked. To be honest, I was looking at less so the platform and more so the individual that would be coming into my house. I liked the insurance and the verification that Meowtel was doing. Pretty much when I saw that, I was like, great, this isn’t a passive service like YouTube or Craigslist. You were engaged, but I was more focused on who was going to be coming to my home, and for Amy, previous customer experience. We weren’t the first people she ever cat sat for.
What services do you normally book?
J: Double drop in; once in the morning and once in the evening.
How have your experiences been and what keeps you coming back?
C: They’ve been 100% positive. We love Amy. She was willing to come and meet with us before the first time we ever booked her so we could talk to her and get to know her, she could meet our cat. We got to hear about her; she has five cats herself, she does rescue. We have had a very positive experience and we definitely aren’t looking for anything else, for sure.
J: Same. I second that.
C: We feel comfortable. If something were to go wrong with his health, she would be able to look at him and go, “that’s not normal. Let’s go. Here’s his crate; let’s get out of here.”
Do you have a favorite sitter and why is she your sitter?
C: It’s Amy!
J: It is Amy. For instance, to give some background, we bought a car in San Francisco on like a Wednesday, we were like, “This is it. This is the car.” And they said, “Great. Can you come pick it up tomorrow?” And I’m like, “Well, no, but what about Saturday?” They’re like, “Fine, we’ll be here, we’ll keep it for you.” So, we booked a flight for Saturday morning and planned to stay Saturday night in San Francisco, I texted Amy and said, “Are you available?” and she said, “Yes!” I said, “Great!” I went to the website and booked her for two visits Saturday and one visit Sunday. She was very responsive. The pictures and videos are a blast.
C: That’s key.
J: We love that. We think that’s super fun. She communicates so well. She’s always willing to answer our questions, which we love. And very responsive!
How does Amy make magical moments while you’re away?
C: She videos, she photographs. She checks on him, even after her visits, you know, a few weeks later, she’ll text us and say, “How’s Jarvis doing? How’s it going?” We feel comfortable sending her pictures of him. We really feel like she’s part of our little family here to take care of him.
J: Exactly right. Exactly right. We told her over Christmas, he’s got this little bit of health issues. We told her all about it, she was very comfortable with that. He doesn’t poop in the litter box; he has a hard time going to the bathroom. She was like, “No problem, I’ll clean that up, no big deal.” I told her we were going back to the vet this time and if it wasn’t the day after we went to the vet, she asked, “How was the vet?”
Is there anything outstanding that she’s done that you’ll never forget?
C: She’s always awesome.
J: I think her availability. She’s never like, “Oh, let me check my calendar” which is fine with us. She’s just always like, “Yep, of course. That’s fine. Have fun; I’ll be there!” She has a key to the apartment.
C: She was like, “I can put it back under the mat” and we’re like, “No, you need to keep it.”
J: After the first two days, we were like, “That’s it. This is done.”
C: You can keep our key!
J: Yeah, you’ll be back!
How do Amy & Meowtel compare to any other care you’ve used in the past?
C: It’s better. Overall better.
J: It is better. We feel comfortable leaving him in her care, whereas leaving him at the vet was harder.
C: Because he wasn’t adjusting.
J: He wasn’t happy; we knew he wasn’t happy when we dropped him off. Here, we just roll out the suitcases and he gets a little weird the night before, because they sense what’s going on. But we’re like, that’s fine, Amy will be here. I think when we left to go to the airport, three or four hours later, we received a video and he’s scratching and playing, rubbing all over her shoulders and we’re like, “He’s happy.”
Is there anything that she doesn’t do that you’d like her to do?
C: I don’t think there’s anything.
C: And I feel like, if we ever thought of something, I feel like if we ask her…
J: She’d do it, within reason, of course.
C: When we were gone over Christmas, we’ve never been gone that long, the both of us. Our cars are right here by the apartment dumpster…
J: Oh my God, I forgot about this!
C: … And they were needing to get to the dumpster to empty it over Christmas. So of course, we aren’t here. She was so nice; we had to call her and be like, “Here’s our spare key! Will you move our car?” And she was like, “Absolutely!” And we were like, “We’re so sorry, we know this isn’t in your job description.” She was like, “No! It’s fine!” She’s very flexible; she gets it. We’re out of town, things are happening. She’s very helpful. Again, I feel like if something comes up, she’ll do the best she can to accommodate.
Do you have any feedback about the company?
C: I think it’s been amazing!
If a Meowtel cat sitter sounds like something you need for your cat, find out more about what makes us a fantastic option and use our search function to find a sitter. Our in-home care is ideal for furry friends—and John and Catherine, among other happy customers, can attest that it makes it easy to leave town without worrying about your kitty.