The hardest part about owning a pet is the prospect of staying away from them, even for a few hours. It takes a toll on the pet parent and the pet, both emotionally and physically. The entire process of finding the right caretaker for a feline pet is even harder. Yashashree Kale and Mehar Chumble fully understood the woes of urban pet owners, and decided to step in with a solution. The duo founded ‘Guardian of the Purr’, a pet sitting service based in Mumbai. For Yashashree, it all started when she was working with the Cat Cafe Studio. “While working there, I realised I was taking care of so many cats. Although I loved my work there, I figured that it was not my dream,” says Yashashree. “I wanted to start something of my own for animals. I was taking so much effort and putting in all the time at the cafe, I thought maybe I should put all that effort into something of my own.”
The idea to start the pet sitting service struck after the duo noticed how most people were reluctant about keeping a pet. “There are a number of limitations. Lack of time is the major reason that stops people from owning pets, since most people spend at least 10 hours at workplace,” says Yashashree. She adds, “Some are not ready to take the responsibility of owning a pet because they do not know what to do while planning to go on a vacation. I found that starting a pet sitting service would benefit people like them. This could also encourage more people into adopting animals.” “And so we started Guardian of the Purr last year. This is something we are passionate about and we do it on the sides. We both are currently freelancers as well,” says Mehar
Yashashree explains how Guardian of the Purr functions. “We are not like a kennel. We are an exclusive ‘pet sitting’ service. What a kennel does is provide food and shelter. Most of the time the animals are kept together. When it comes to cats, you cannot keep two cats together as they tend to get territorial and could get stressed,” she says, adding, “Cats are most comfortable when they are in their own homes. What we do is visit the cats twice a day and spend an hour or so with them. During this time, we feed the cats, clean the litter and make sure the cats are not lonely. We also provide grooming services.”
They also make it a point to go and meet the owner and the cat beforehand. “We make sure to meet our client and their pet in their house a couple of days before the client goes on vacation. This gives them a chance to introduce us to their cat, show us where the cat food is kept or where the litter is kept,” explains Mehar. All the cat talk might give the impression that Yashashree and Mehar are just cat lovers. “Together, we own three cats and one dog,” says Yashashree. Mehar pitches in and says, “We love all animals. We are not just ‘cat people’ we are ‘animal people’.”...