Caring for Pets While We’re on Vacation

Pity the poor stepkid that agreed to take care of our critters while Mark and I are on vacation.  Said critters include:  Dusty, a 14-year-old dog that turtles out on the front steps and is constantly hungry; Purrkins, our 8-year-old cat; Chip, our 7-year-old ferret (which is pretty old for a ferret); 9 hamsters; two boisterous mynah birds; and two fish tanks filled with colorful fish.  The stepkid is Arthur and these are his instructions:

By 9:00 a.m. Let Dusty out and back in
  Shut 2 doors behind you, open bird cage
  Open curtains at window
  Check on all hamsters
  Shut both doors behind you
By 9:15 Feed  Dusty
  Feed Purrkins
  Let Dusty out and back in 
  Check on Chip–take her out to play?
Around 11 a.m. Let Dusty out and back in again; give kibbles
Around 2 p.m. Got to bird room.  Shut door behind you.
  Remove big water bowls and latch-on bowls
  Shut bird cage doors
  Clean bowls
  Fill water bowls with osmosis water only
  Shut both cage doors
  Prepare birdies’ food in latch-on bowls
  Put latch-on bowls in cages
  Close cage doors
  Add dry food as needed
  Close cage doors; leave room
  Shut both doors behind you.
Around 4 p.m. Return to bird room.  Open cage doors.
  Wait for bird to go in.  Shut and lock cage doors.
  Shut both doors behind you.
Around 4 p.m. Let Dusty out and back in again; give kibbles
Between 4:30-6 Feed Dusty
  Let Dusty out and back in again
At 6 or 7 Go into bird room.  Pull down blankets. 
  Shut curtains.
  Double check all hamster cages.  Fill bowls.
  Clean any poopy areas after putting hamster
       in balls.  Check water bottles.
  Shut both doors behind you.
  Turn lights on big fish tank.
Around 8 or so Feed fish in both fish tanks.
  Top off Purrkins’ two bowls
  Check on Chip; play if not played with earlier.
  Refresh Chip’s bowls while she’s in the back
     bedroom area. 
  Empty Chip’s poop pan.
  Empty Purrkins’ poop pan.
  Let Dusty out and back in again.
Before 10:00 Let Dusty out and back in again.
  Turn off fish tank light

Oh, and please feed the sea monkeys (brine shrimp) once or twice while we’re gone.  And bring in the mail now and again.  And the trash goes out on Tuesday mornings.  And Dusty would appreciate your shoveling any snow off the front porch.  He also likes daily rub-downs and….  Okay, you’ll do fine.  Oh, and about the outdoor critters we feed….

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