Monthly Archives: May 2024

Becoming a full-time catsitter

Towards the end of March I found out that I would have to move out of the shared rented house I was living in by 1st May. In response to this I decided to get rid of a load of my stuff, to make whatever move came next easier, and after contemplating different options decided to become a full-time catsitter.

Although catsitting as an accommodation solution logically made a lot of sense, initially I was more scared than excited by the prospect, but over the course of a couple of weeks I went from feeling like I was setting myself up for a mental health crisis to feeling OK about it and even a bit excited. I had to do something and the truth if I’m honest with myself is that I can’t afford to live in Bristol anymore. I was struggling to pay the rent in the place I was living and that was a lot cheaper than most places in Bristol. So although there’s a risk of the instability of having nowhere to call home and being away from my friends being negative for my mental health, I won’t have to pay rent and bills. This should mean I’m less stressed about money as it will be the difference between having not quite enough money and having a bit more than enough money. Also this means that after a while I should be able to build up a buffer, which is something I don’t have at the moment.

After several weeks of gradually getting rid of furniture and many other things I decided I didn’t really need, I still managed to fill a 50 square foot storage unit with what was left, so there’s probably still some work to be done there. When it came to working out what I needed to take with me for day to day living moving from one place to another for an indefinite period, that would be limited to what I (or my bike) could carry, I managed to get it down to two bags totalling 100 litres. After the first leg of my journey getting these actually quite heavy bags and my bike on and off trains, and on a 5 mile cycle across town at my destination, I’ve already decided both that I could stand to ditch some more stuff and that I need to replace the large rucksack that’s not a bike pannier with a bag that is. Also that as soon as I can afford to I’m going to replace my 15 year old still perfectly useful but really quite heavy laptop with something lighter.

The first sit of my full-time catsitting adventure is in Oxford. I was actually born in Oxford, but as we moved to South Wales when I was 3 I have no memory of living here and have not really spent any time here, unless you count a night out for a friend’s birthday many years ago (I didn’t see much beyond the inside of a pub). I’ll be here for 10 days and hope to see some of the sights and check out the local standup scene. Today was my first full day here and I’ve actually not left the house and it’s been lovely. After coming from a houseshare where things had become awkward, to two nights in an airbnb room, to several hours of making conversation with my housesit host along with the stress of moving, I’ve been really glad to have a house to myself. And quite a nice comfortable house at that, with four very chilled cats who are so far hesitantly friendly towards me. It’s been raining quite a bit today so seems like a good day to have not gone anywhere.

In case anyone is interested in the itinerary of my travels I’ve set up a page to answer the question Where’s Robin?.