I have been a lifelong animal lover. I didn't have pets growing up, so I adopted the ducks at our neighborhood duck pond. They would sit in my backyard waiting for me everyday and thus began my love for ducks..and animals in general.
I have always been the friend and family member that people turned to for pet care. I was aware of how much joy I felt spending time with pets and helping people out, still never imagining the possibilites.
I have been a Columbus resident since moving from St. Louis to Westerville in 1978.
I graduated from Otterbein College with a BA in education in 1983. I went the teaching route for about a year and realized it was not for me.
I have had a lot of neat jobs over the years and a couple of great employers, however, there was always something missing for me. In hindsight, the Universe tried to send me the message to become a professional pet sitter many times.
Finally in October of 2004 I received the message loud and clear and took action!
I can't explain why, however, I was compelled to travel to Charleston, SC. It made no sense at the time since I don't enjoy traveling. I put my dog Cody in the car and off we went.
We had been there a few days. On the way to the beach, a SUV passed by us with "For Pet's Sake Pet Sitting" on the side and paw prints all over it.
That was my epiphany. I looked at Cody and said that's what I am meant to do with my life! We cut our trip short and raced home to create our business.
I am grateful I had my best pal by my side when I realized my dream of being a pet sitter and made it happen.
I still love and enjoy photographing ducks!
As of March 2015, here is my family.
Kitty. He has been with me since circa 1997. He was a very independent stray. So much so that I was afraid to name him!
Lucky. (RIP 10/31/14) Circa 1998. I was running late for work one day when some neighborhood kids were chasing a black kitten. We both got lucky that day!
Silly. Circa 2001. She was a kitten living by a dumpster at a neighbor's job.
Handsome. January 2007. He was a feral kitten I found in my bushes. It took me 5 days to capture him and then 6 months before he would let me touch him! After a year or so, he wanted back outside and I was scared to pieces. I finally couldn't take his belly aching and spraying anymore. Thankfully he stays in the yard and provided me with one of my best photography shots ever!
Lovebug. October 31, 2008. I noticed him in an apartment complex where I had a dog walking job. I had been feeding him for a few weeks when the apartment manager spoke with me. She said he had been left behind 7 months earlier when his 'owner' moved and the residents were tired of him killing birds. She told me they were going to take him to the shelter soon. I put him in my car that day to be neutered and he came home with me.
Baby Girl. I was cat sitting at Pet FBI HQ, when I noticed a mom cat show up with 3 kittens. She wound up taking off and leaving them behind. Once Pet FBI Maresa returned home, we spent the following 3 months earning their trust in order to capture them. It took patience, however, they are now living with me and I cannot imagine my life without them!
Big Boy. I cannot believe I named him that because he is the largest cat I have ever had! He is one of the feral kittens although this is a recent pic.
Miss Pretty. She was, and still is, the most independent and loving kitty of her siblings. Whenever I pet her, she drools from each side of her mouth. Her siblings drool, also, but hers is like a water fountain. She really makes me laugh on a daily basis
Big Max. Circa 2011. I was driving home one day after doing my daily dog walking jobs. I caught a glimpse of black fur in a field and, of course, screeched to a halt. I thought I was just going to leave some cat food for a feral cat. Nope! She twirled around me. Skin and bones. Drove home with her on my lap. She fit into the mix within 20 minutes. She is one of the funniest cats I have ever been owned by.
Buddy. November 2012. Stray cat in UA at a client's home. We worked hard to earn his trust and then he came home with me.
Peanut. May 2013.
I was driving along my daily route one day, when I saw him sitting with his Mom in a driveway on a busy street. Of course, I stopped to investigate. As I was snooping around the homeowner came outside.
He said he had not spayed his garage dwelling/outside cat and she had kittens. He immediately asked if I wanted the kitten. I didn't take him initially, however, I spent the next 45 minutes consumed with thinking about him and went back to bring him home.
I am glad I did because a week later I found his Mom dead in the street having been hit by a car. The guy said there were other kittens, however, I did not see them then and still have not. Every time I drive by that house I look.
From left to right is Chip, Sissy & Sweet Potato. They are Peanut's siblings, however, I was unaware of them until 5 months after I rescued Peanut. I happened to catch a glimpse of them towards the end of September 2013. I knew if I didn't do something they would be living outside during what turned out to be one of the worst winters ever!
I am really proud of Sissy. She is a featured character on the popular Facebook page Text from Mittens! She plays Mittens' love interest, Fiona. I think it's neat that she went from living in a sewer to a kitty that receives thousands of 'likes' when her photos are shared.