Looking for advice and morale help with my first truly awful housesit

Hi everyone,

I’ve been with THS a few years now and I just arrived at a sit that lasts from today to halfway through December. I’m beside myself and could really use some support and advice. I’ve only ever had good experiences here.
I’m looking after a kitty in a flat in a city I just moved to. I thought this was fantastic, the owner and I got along really well on our Zoom call, and the flat is just around the corner from my work.
I stopped by last night to pick up the keys and noticed a strong odour, but I didn’t want to be rude and figured it was just a food smell I could get out fairly easily. It was dim and lit mostly by candles, so everything looked fine.
Well. I arrived this morning, and in the daylight it is totally different. The place is filthy, and it definitely wasn’t a food smell - she must have been burning the candles to make the dirty flat smell go away. It reeks. There was rotting fruit on the counter, covered in flies. The fridge is filled with old food, and filthy. The appliances are all covered in grime, at best, and mold at worst. Touching anything makes my fingers dirty. There are no clean towels or bedsheets that I can find. The inside of the kettle is completely green/brown with old liquid and things floating in it.
I’ve booked cleaners - who we all know aren’t cheap - to arrive in a few hours. In the meantime I’m sitting with my luggage on the balcony, because the smell is so bad and I don’t want all of my things to stink.
I honestly don’t know what to do if the cleaners can’t get the smell out and help me feel like this place is clean enough to live in. I’m worried I’m going to smell when I visit my office for the first time on Monday. I don’t think I have unreasonable standards, and I know everyone considers different things “clean”, but I’m having a really hard time not getting upset that I have to be here for two months. With all the doors and windows open, on the balcony I can still smell it all really strongly. The owner is on a flight to a different country for several hours - and even then, what would I say? This feels awful.
Does anyone have any advice?
The kitty is friendly, though he hasn’t stopped screaming for a minute since I got here, and she told me last night that her neighbours don’t know she has a cat and she wants to keep it secret, so now I’m a little worried about that. I noticed in the pictures he has lots of mats and his fur is in bad shape - I thought that maybe, because he’s her first cat, that she just didn’t know about brushing him, but now it seems to be a reflection on everything else.
I’m really disheartened and having a hard time keeping it together. Any words of encouragement are appreciated. If there wasn’t a cat here to look after I would already have shelled out a good portion of my savings for an AirBnB and left.

Hello @CanadianSitter and very disappointed to read this - as we’ve said before, although it is rare, no-one should ever have to endure arriving at a house sit in this condition.

Please do take photos before the cleaners do anything and I’m going to contact Membership Services to get you the support you need. Please bear with me and I will direct message you shortly. Hold tight, we are here for you, All the best, Vanessa


Thanks, Vanessa. I’m taking pictures now. If only I could bottle up the smell and send that as well… it’s really the kicker. I’m having such a hard time.

Hi @CanadianSitter I echo @Vanessa-Admin words … we are here to support.

1 Like

Thanks, Angela.
I went back into the flat to take pictures and now the cat has pooped in the bathtub, though his litterbox is completely clean. I doubt that’s the first time he’s done that. Her shower doesn’t work so I have to use the bathtub myself. I’m really hoping that doesn’t happen again. It keeps getting worse.

@CanadianSitter Can you check your private messages here on the forum. I’ve just messaged you following contact with membership services.

We will close this post now that Emma is providing support directly from membership support.