It's awkward that I have a key to your home. Even after years of pet sitting, the first time I walk into a stranger's house by myself gives me the creeps. I have been known to look for signs of life from the driveway and check my email one more time, often on the front steps, to make sure I'm there on the right day. But we can't plan for when a flight was delayed, there was a typo in the email, or a trip ended early.
I recently had a client whom I am convinced came home early from their vacation or at least had someone else check on the cat before my last visit. A spoon that was by the sink was now in it. There was an extra can of cat food missing, which I found empty in the garbage. That's great! Someone broke into the house to feed the cat and locked the door behind them!
Or how about the time when I came to a client's house to find a car -- not their car -- in the driveway. They had extended the invitation that I could crash at their place anytime because the house was so big (random). Who else might they have extended that invitation to? It wasn't until I called them that they said their neighbor probably parked there to scare away potential intruders. Or, you know, pet sitters.
I imagine someone is huddled up in their bedroom hiding, waiting for the pet sitter to finish scooping the litter so they can have their house back. Should I tip toe around doing the job or loudly announce myself so anyone who's home can do the same. Dear readers, what would you do? I'll still scoop your litter, especially since you paid for it. Just keep me in the loop!