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Anxious woman sitting outside

A user on a popular online forum shares their story of asking a friend to petsit and housesit and coming home to less than satisfactory results.

A Simple Task

Couple sitting and petting their cat
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The original poster (OP) asked their friend to take care of their pets and plants while they were on a trip. OP said along with paying them for their services, they also kept their meal subscription going so that they could have meals taken care of.

OP said their friend was struggling financially, and OP wanted to help out. OP asked their friend to water the plants, feed their cat, clean the litter box, and ensure both cats’ waters were full.

Instructions for Pet Care

Woman cleaning a fish tank
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OP also told their friend how to change the fish tank water and warned them to double-check the snake cage locks.

OP’s friend offered to feed the snakes because they said they knew how to take care of snakes, so OP gave them instructions.

The Issues Begin

Boy holding service dog's face
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OP said that while their space is cluttered, they aren’t fond of grime. They said that when they got back from their trip, there were paper towels behind the couch cushion, the floor was covered in dirt, there was food waste and dirty dishes on the counter, dirty knives were put away, there was dirt under the sheets, plastic scraps on the bedroom floor, and a pile of trash and recycling in the kitchen.

Animals Weren’t in Great Condition

Hog nosed snack in glass cage
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One of OP’s snake’s cage lids was open, and thankfully the snake was still inside. The other snake’s heat emitter was in the wrong spot, and the snake food that was supposed to be frozen was in the fridge and had to be thrown out.

The cat’s secondary water bowl was overturned and dry, and the pet sitter poured a glass of water into the betta tank without water conditioner, and some of the plants that were in the tank died.

Feeling Guilty

Woman sitting with her head in her hand looking upset
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OP says they feel guilty for not giving better instructions but that the damage done was worth at least $50-$75. OP also feels guilty for putting their animals at risk. OP wants to ask the sitter to pay the damages out of what they already paid them.

Online Support

Woman holding a pomerian's face in her hands
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Feedback seemed to be mixed, but many people did feel as though the OP was not in the wrong with one user saying, “NTA, don’t pay them; they truly don’t deserve it, especially after that much damage and loss. It doesn’t take that many brain cells to water plants or just close a snake’s enclosure… And all that dirt and grime, that’s just disrespectful at that point. I hope your fish is okay, and I’m sorry about your plants :(“

Avoiding the Situation

Woman getting dog and cat kisses
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Others sympathized, explaining why they like to avoid this type of situation in the first place. A user replied, “Honestly, this is why I don’t ask friends or family to pet/house sit, and I go with a professional company or freelancer to do it instead.”

Do Things Differently

Woman holding cat in her lap
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And some people had advice on how to do things differently the next time. One person offered this advice, “So uh, for next time, proactively go over instructions w/ your sitter. I house sat for a friend with like 20 orchids and a cat w/ a cranky feeding schedule – I made her label her plants and send me detailed instructions, and then I reorganized her instructions in a way that made sense for me & she insisted on video chatting the first night of house sitting. I’d already had her cat feeding schedule in my phone b/c I’d previously cat sit. The reason for doing all this is you want to see how someone engages with the training material you’ve sent them b/c that’s an easy way to catch red flags.”

What are your thoughts? Who do you think is wrong in this situation?

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Sister consoling upset sister
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Families are beloved but undoubtedly complicated. Every family is different, and all of them come with unique challenges. One woman asks the internet to help her decide if she was wrong to tell her sister they were adopted. Her Entire Family is Angry With Her for Telling Her Sister She Was Adopted

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Dad yelling in son's ear as he's sitting as his desk
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Woman sick in bed with an eye mask and blowing her nose
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A Reddit user shares her story of expecting her husband to give her some of his sick days so that she can take the day off. She Wants To Hire a Sitter To Help When She’s Sick and Her Husband Won’t Get on Board

Her Sister-in-Law Won’t Let Her Bring Her Newborn to Her Wedding, and She’s Furious

Pregnant young woman crossing her arms and looking angry
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Her Husband Left Her and Their Kids, and Her Mom Won’t Let Them Move in With Her

Mom and adult daughter seeming to argue
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When our loved ones turn to us for support during trying times, we can find that we don’t always have the same idea of what “support” means. When one woman’s attempt to help isn’t well received, she asks on a popular online forum; is she the a**hole for getting her daughter an apartment? Her Husband Left Her and Their Kids, and Her Mom Won’t Let Them Move in With Her

Inspired by this thread – photos for illustrative purposes only.

Claire started Femme on FIRE after struggling with the debt cycle and realizing that she had to create better habits to get out of it. She became inspired along this journey and now strives to help others achieve financial freedom as well. When she isn’t working on her blog, you can find her on the couch with a good book, cooking up recipes in the kitchen, or playing outside with her ducks.

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