Furry Babies Cat Sitting Not Your Average Petsitting Service
story and photos by Kevin Panizza
I lost my little buddy Rebel the Cat about two years ago. It was, for me, devastating as I had him for 16 years. He was there for me through thick and thin. He was there when my father passed away; he was there when I finally stopped touring in the rock ‘n roll band that took him and me all over this green earth and he was there before I met my beautiful wife Wendy. To say that he was my best friend is an understatement to be sure. At least I know that he had a long and wonderful life and lived his final days in the best place in the world, San Clemente. To most of the people I know personally, their pets are their family. They’re children of sorts, so that’s why it is so important that we know that they are well cared for in the event we want to take a little break from the daily grind and go away for a couple of days, or even a couple of weeks, on vacation.
I know there are several pet sitters in the area and all are equally good in their own way, but I have to say there is one that stands above the rest. I’m speaking of Nikki England of Furry Babies Cat Sitting. Her services include a 30-45 minute visit of feeding, litter box cleaning, playtime, administering medication, bringing in the mail, and watering plants. But it doesn’t stop there … Nikki offers lots more. “I also wanted to offer my clients the opportunity for improving their cat’s health, so for the last four years have I studied pet nutrition with two holistic veterinarians. I am obsessed with pet nutrition and have learned first hand that low quality foods that are usually high in carbohydrates, poor meat quality like bi-products, and most that are loaded with corn, which is highly indigestible for a cat’s system, can cause your cat to become sick and unhealthy. I offer free pet nutrition consultations to my clients and recommend the best option available for their cat. The goal is to feed your cat a diet that mimics what they eat in nature; cats are carnivores and eat things like birds and mice, all very high in protein. You won’t see a cat gnawing on a cob of corn out in nature. I steer people in the right direction and put them on a path of prolonged pet health. In some cases, I even refer clients to the holistic vets that I have worked with to further the entire process. One of my clients’ cats had elimination problems for a year. The cat was miserable. The vet had no answers and sent her home. I suspected food allergies so I suggested a holistic vet and a grain free diet and her cat was better in two weeks.”
Nikki even coaches her clients about the dangers of using certain household products that contain a myriad of toxins that can harm their pets and can advise on more natural, wholesome replacements. "Common plug-in room deodorizers are loaded with formaldehyde, benzene and all sorts of cancer causing chemicals that a cat is breathing in daily. It is hard for a cats' liver to filter such chemicals". This was something she did with me personally along with a prescription for a healthy diet. I feel that it was instrumental to Rebel’s long life! Nikki also takes Pet First Aid classes every year. “I know what signs of illness to look for. As an example, if I see a cat drinking too much water, I know that can be a sign of diabetes. I am trained to notice things that most pet owners would miss, and I can then relay that information to the client.”
Nikki goes on to say “I have a 100% success rate with my clients. When they return from their vacation they are always so thankful and happy and that’s what I live for. Not to mention, they always call me back to book another job. My goal is to keep my client’s animals safe, happy and healthy while they are on vacation so they can feel relaxed and have the peace of mind knowing that their furry babies are getting the best care.” Nikki even sends her clients daily emails and pictures of their pets while they are away. You can check out some testimonials on her Furry Babies Cat Sitting web site www.furrybabies.us
When I first met Nikki it was very obvious that she really cares about the job she is doing and treats all of her client’s pets like they were her own. I know that’s how she treated me and Rebel. I also think that the fact she was a nurse for many years has a lot to do with the nurturing, love and care she gives each pet. She just made a transition from people to cats! b Nikki is now offering pet sitting for small dogs.