Condition of Friend’s House Makes Pet Sitting Difficult

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I have a friend I’ll call “Whitney” who asks me to pet sit for her on a fairly regular basis. She’ll usually ask me a week or less before she is going to be leaving. I love animals (I have several of my own), so I continue to do this for her. But one issue is making it increasingly difficult. Abby, her house is FILTHY.

I have animals, so I know a little dog hair or cat litter is part of the deal. That’s not the issue; it’s dirt from the humans. There is food residue on counters, stovetops and cabinet doors, clothing and paperwork all over the floors, and a bathroom that clearly hasn’t been cleaned in years. I refuse to use the bathroom in her house, and I even sanitize my hands after I leave.

This makes the pet sitting harder, because I know I should spend more time with her cats than just scooping litter and filling dishes, but I simply cannot bring myself to spend any real time in her house. How do I broach this subject with her, or should I? I dread these requests, but I don’t want to leave an animal without basic care when she’s away. — RELUCTANT PET SITTER


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