Adventures in Cat Sitting

Posted on February 6, 2013

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Man and Cats

What’s the male equivalent to a cat lady?

This story is from Corey, a 26-year-old nanny in NYC, as told to Raz:

I’m not a huge fan of online dating, but I admit, whenever I’m at a low point in my romantic life, I’ll hop back on good old OkCupid to boost my morale.

During one time back on the online dating train, I got a message from Greg, who was much older than me. Much older. I was 26. He was 53.

I wouldn’t usually go for it, but I was feeling adventurous. What a great box to tick, to say I’d dated someone who was twice my age. I’d do it for the story. Plus, he had a hot professor thing going for him.

He took me out to a wine bar. I got a little drunk, and was actually surprised at how good of a time I had. So I agreed to a second date—and then a third. That’s when he tried to kiss me. I went into it fine, but came out literally dry heaving. It hit me: He’s my dad’s age! What was wrong with him trying to kiss someone so young? I made a quick excuse and rushed home.

I knew I had to say something, so I settled on a passive aggressive text. I said I didn’t think this was going to work out, and that I really didn’t have time to date right now.

His responses got real sassy real fast. He went on and on about how I’d just used him for his money, and how awful it was for me to end things now.

I had mentioned that I was short on cash, but how dare he throw that in my face when I was trying to make a clean break? I knew I should drop it and not say anything back, but everything he said was really insulting!

I sent him an email later. “I may be many things,” I wrote. “But I have never used you. It’s really not fair for you to go there.”

He got back in touch after a couple weeks, saying he would like to stay in contact with me as friends. Not knowing what else to say, and really having no intention of ever seeing him again, I told him I’d be OK with that.

That’s when he told me he was going out of town for the weekend, and asked if I’d be willing to cat-sit. Oh yeah, did I mention he had cats? There were two of them—a keepsake from his divorce—and I remember him telling me on our first date that they were “bitchy.” One had recently had thyroid surgery, costing him thousands of dollars in medical bills, and he had to medicate her twice a day. Now Greg was offering me $25 a day to stop by and give the cat her medicine. I was hesitant, but couldn’t afford to turn down easy money.

I asked him how I could tell the sick cat from the healthy cat. He told me the sick cat was bitchier. Shockingly, that description was helpful. I took care of the cats. No one died. He paid me.

I thought I was done with Greg.

But then he got back in touch again, saying he was going out of town for a month and he’d pay me even more to resume my pet-sitting duties.

He even said I could stay at his apartment. I told him no to squatting at his place, but yes to the job.

About a week in, he texted me, “How’s it going with the cats?”

I responded with a joke, “The cats are fine, but I drank all your expensive wine.”

“Haha,” he said. “But seriously, feel free to anything in my apartment.”

I had no interest in snagging his wine, but it was nice that he offered.

The day he returned, he asked me to come by so he could cut me a check. But this deal did not include actually having to see him again, so I asked if he could just mail it to me instead.

Later that day, I got a strange message from him: “To kip a man’s avocado eye cream? You can either give it back or I’ll take it out of what I owe you.”

First of all, what the hell does “kip” mean? Second of all, he thought I stole his stupid eye cream?! So much for Mr. “Feel free to anything in my apartment.” I’d never touched any of his beauty products. That was for sure. I literally had no words, so I didn’t respond.

Finally, a check from Greg came in the mail—for the amount he owed me, minus $50.

That’s when I lost it. I send him a scathing email asking why he would have someone he clearly trusts so little look after his cats. Clearly it was because his cats’ importance pales in comparison to the importance of his precious eye cream, which I had never touched. I told him he was insane. I told him I was done helping him out.

No response. But two weeks later a check for $50 came in the mail.

And a week after that, an email: “Hey Corey, It’s Greg. Just checking in.”

I couldn’t have deleted it fast enough.

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