I had not long returned from living in Saudi Arabia where I was living with my husband and daughter in Al Khobar in the Eastern Province of Saudi (which is near Dhahran and the oil). Whilst there, I became involved with PAWS - People's Animal Welfare Society. Their main aim is to slow down the rapidly increasing cat population by neutering ferals. They also rehome cats and dogs, and pay vets fees for injured/ill ferals.
I discovered a kitten sleeping on my doorstep one evening, and went outside to feed it. I put a box out for it to sleep in. But the next morning it had gone. A couple of nights later, the kitten returned, and again I fed it. The following morning, one kitten had turned into two. It had brought its brother along to stay in the box. I then called a friend who ran a cattery in her home as I knew she was heavily involved with PAWS. She advised catching them, if possible, and taking them to the vets to be checked over. She would then collect and foster them until they were fully socialised and could be rehomed.
Whilst visiting the two kittens, to see how they had settled in, I saw some of the really young feral kittens which were being hand reared. One of them was only about 2 weeks old, and was still being bottle fed every two hours. I offered to help with the kittens and was delighted, shortly after, when she asked if I could continue to look after the kittens while she was on holiday. She still had 4 young kittens which I looked after for 5 weeks and fell in love with.
Not long after I was approached by a lady on my compound who asked if I would visit her villa twice a day to feed her two cats, as well as the outside cat (a feral), as she didn't trust the local Saudi catteries. I agreed and that was the start of my petsitting. I ended up catsitting for many families, all living on the same compound, until I returned to the UK in July 2002.
Once back I realized I wanted more than anything to work with animals. After chatting with my local vet, he suggested pet sitting.
So I tentatively started up my own little business. At the time my daughter was only 7 so I needed the flexibility to work around the school day and holidays. Plus it also kept me involved with animals.
The rest, as they say, is history.