By the time we set foot at our house-sitting gig in Mt Lawley the longest we had stayed in one place was five weeks. That was the sugar gliders at Xinbeitou in Taipei, Taiwan. Sure, we had stayed in Siem Reap for close to seven weeks but we had moved accommodation a few times while we were there.
Our house-sitting gig in Mt Lawley in Perth, Western Australia was for six weeks. A new record… and we loved every second of it! It was great to be back in our home town with all of our family and friends and to still have our own space. We love our families but having our own place to go home to really made a huge difference.
While we were caring for the home and pets the owners were off enjoying a fabulous holiday visiting Bhutan, India and the Maldives.
For the non-Perth people, Mt Lawley is an inner-city suburb of Perth. There are restaurants, shops, convenient public transport, parks, trees, and lovely old houses with big yards full of fruit trees and shady spaces. On the other hand, Mt Lawley also contains its fair share of small apartments with tiny balconies overlooking concrete courtyards. The inner city giveth, the inner city taketh away.
Luckily for us, we didn't have to spend six weeks in a bedsit apartment overlooking the next high-rise building. Instead, we found ourselves in an old federation style home with plenty of front and back yard, numerous fruit trees, and even a large veranda wrapped around the home. Being in Mt Lawley made it easy to access the many things to do in Perth, being in this delightful house made it comfortable.
Out the back of the house was a chicken pen holding four fantastic looking chickens! Each chicken had their own personality, laid different coloured eggs and actually liked being held and stroked. Some of the time at least.
Their chook pen was beautiful, clean and large in size. They had heaps of room to run around, graze and annoy each other. Soufflé, Omelette, Florentine, and Chooky seemed to be happy (and hungry) all the time.
There were moments where Pumpkin, the cat, would sit at the edge of the chook pen and watch them. I don't think she wanted to eat them. She just found them as entertaining as we did.
Andrew and I really enjoyed looking after the brood of chickens. Who would have thought we would have moved to the city to look after farm animals!
Then there was Pumpkin. We miss her terribly. Pumpkin was really scared of us for the first week or two. She was fine when I (Tanya) was alone with her but as soon as Andrew came anywhere near us, she would bolt out the nearest door. Sometimes to find that the door was actually closed. Heh.
After a while, she must have decided that we weren't actually that bad as the mice presents started appearing. In one night, we were given three mouse presents. Nice! Andrew got very good at collecting and disposing of dead mice. That's if he reached them before Pumpkin gobbled them all up.
Pumpkin ended up sleeping with us nearly every night. She took up most of the king sized bed and had to sleep between us. I have a theory that she liked Andrew the best and this was the only way she could keep us apart. I guess that my feeding every day didn't count for much after all.
Let's not forget the outdoor pond and indoor tropical fish that were also under our care. The tropical fish were the ones we worried about the most as they have a reputation for being sensitive and we're not really fish people. In the end, we did a pretty good job. Well, the vast majority lived through our care so presumably we did something right. There were two casualties spaced several weeks apart so we had the opportunity to performed heart-felt funerals. The majority stayed alive for the whole six weeks. Well done us!
And then, there was the awesome house itself. There were massive couches that you could easily sleep the night on. The kitchen that we actually cooked in. Yes, frozen pizzas were heated up in the oven and multiple egg dishes were prepared on the stove. The kitchen table became our office and we were able to watch television, the chooks and the tropical fish from our work space.
We really had a great time pet and house sitting in our home town. We had a lot of people to see, Andrew was heading to an office every day for work, and well, we just needed to have our own space. That is the thing about house-sitting, you can help someone achieve their goals too. We wanted a place to stay that wasn't at our families places, and the home-owners needed someone to look after their pets.
Thank you Silvana and Chris for giving us the opportunity to look after all of your awesome pets and your fantastic house! We look forward to looking after your next property with the mini goats, llamas and the rooster who will hopefully produce some little chickens!
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