Chewing the crud: Finding a pet-sitter for Gordon
I am regularly intrigued and astounded by the personal ads I stumble across on Craigslist and Gumtree – the peculiarity, the inanity, the sheer desperation. So in my spare time I have been humouring (harassing) these often foolhardy people and replying to their ads. I am collecting all of my correspondence into a regular column called "Chewing the crud".
Below is an email conversation I had with a pet-sitter from Maidenhead.
I saw your advert on Craigslist for pet-sitting services. This is of great interest to me because I always have a real struggle to find a sitter for Gordon when I go away on my adventures.
How much do you charge for two weeks?
Can you come round to mine to look after him? He doesn't like being in a strange environment.
I am based in Pinkneys Green. I hope that's not too far for you to reach. I am willing to pay extra if it's a pain for you to get to, as it is very important that I find someone suitable to look after Gordon and you seem more than qualified.
There does seem to have been some crossed wires in our correspondence thus far, however. You see, Gordon is not a scruffy old flea-ridden dog but a beautiful crocodile. You said on your advert that you look after reptiles so I assumed you'd be fine to take care of Gord. He is very placid and needs very good care from an expert such as yourself.
I have planned my adventure for the first two weeks of November. It is then I will travel to Lake Tanganyika in search of a suitable mate for Gordon.
What I will need for you to do is come by once a day – preferably under the cover of darkness (I don't like Gordon to know that his food has to be provided for him, as this will make him feel like an inadequate reptile) – and feed Gord a selection of fish, which I will prepare in advance for you.
Hope this all sounds OK.
If I record voice messages, would it be possible for you to play them to Gordon each day? I'm not sure how he could cope if he thought he was without me for a whole two weeks! We have been together almost every day since I came across his vivid eyes sparkling in the moonlight in the Florida Everglades on a beautifully humid night in May 2005.
Also, twice a month I give Gordon a little live treat. Would it be possible for you to feed Gordy one of the guinea pigs I keep in the spare room at the start of the second week? I don't want to mess up his food cycle while I am away. I can shave it in advance if necessary but I'm sure it would be a lot more palatable if it was freshly shaved by you. I can, of course, pay extra for this service if needed.
PS. Do you have a crocodile whistle?