presto in my closet

While certainly not recommended, a healthy adult cat can live in a closet for 62 hours without food or water.  I happen to know this because a pet sitter locked my cat in a closet an entire weekend once.

Long story, but the moral is: make sure whoever is watching your pets counts them every day (also, dry cleaning removes neither cat pee stains nor odor so don’t even bother).

family fighting

Since then, leaving pets behind even overnight makes me nervous. Relying on family & friends has never worked out for me, not that I didn’t try.  But what happens when they screw up or cross boundaries?  You’re angry, they’re defensive, people pick sides, ugh.

Really kinda wish I’d figured out sooner, how much of a bargain it isn’t,  trusting your pets with anyone but a pro. Part time, full time, whatever:  for security & reliability & just plain peace of mind, nothing beats a business with a reputation to uphold.

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Enter Queenie’s Pets, a relative newcomer to East Falls — next Summer’ll mark their 2nd anniversary here, but they’ve been in business since 2006. Queenie’s started out a one-woman, part-time operation in Mount Airy, when owner Adina Silberstein quit bartending after pet sitting side-jobs for patrons turned into a business opportunity she couldn’t resist.

Not just a business opportunity, but a chance to make a difference and educate the masses and takes a village and yadda yadda. Really great stuff, I am totally down with responsible pet ownership, and keeping up on health alerts and all that.

Adina’s got a whole dog owner community center in the works, with plans for a resource library and possible toy exchange; plus, massage and nutritional counseling (she’s certified).

presto boone xmas

That’s all fine ‘n dandy but who’s gonna watch our cats this Holiday season?

We’d been planning to check out Queenie’s Pets since last June, when we interviewed Adina as East Falls Dog Park’s first “gold” t-shirt sponsor, and she kindly offered to waive the usual $30 fee for an initial appointment. Called a “Meet ‘n Greet,” you can set one up via phone or email, and then Queenie’s hits you back with available time slots, and also some forms to fill out beforehand.

Queenie forms

Wow, the forms.  Their contract is EIGHT PAGES LONG, and covers every possible contingency (with contingencies for the contingencies!).  Your profile is just as long, but almost maddening in its specificity:  Which door to come in? Where do you keep extra towels? Can we pick your pet up?  Describe your treat rituals…

Boy, I hate paperwork. I tried to stay positive, really I did, but at one point I typed, “No idea, they’re just cats!” — to let off a little steam because I honestly thought these forms would just get a cursory glance before being filed and forgotten. Whoever was doing the Meet ‘n Greet would write their own notes, anyway.

boone checked out ej

But no, Adina actually printed up and brought the forms with her on our Meet ‘n Greet. She carefully went over our responses, clarified everything, addressed our concerns, and rolled with my cheeky comments. She brought along EJ, one of her local pet sitters here in East Falls, who turned out to be quite the kitty magnet.

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Both Adina and EJ are “animal people” — they weren’t just relaxed around our dog and cats, they clearly lit up when interacting with them. Of course they brought treats, but Adina also came with a dog puzzle to calm & distract Ducky, our 2 year old collie mix while we talked.

ducky with mental toy

Worked like a charm (this chick ain’t no rookie!).

Another thing that impressed us:  Queenie’s flexibility, and how far they’ll go to customize your experience.  Adina’s holistic approach to pet care includes brainstorming with owners different ways Queenie’s Pets can help with feeding, training, behavior and more.

Ducky, for example, could learn to control herself more when guests come to the door. Queenie’s Pets recommended a brilliant plan to have EJ (who walks dogs in the neighborhood) knock up several times a week when we’re home, to help us with training.

Who does this?! Kinda cool, how they have your back from angles you might not even have thought of.

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Although based in Mt. Airy, Adina’s in the area often, particularly on trips to the Wissahickon with her dogs, Melo Drama and Governor Monkey. She’s a sponsor of East Falls Dog Park, and plans to attend next week’s East Falls Business Administration meeting.

Adina and friends HoHouse

She was also at East Falls House Party last October, woot!!

Queenie’s Pets provides tailored and traditional pet care services to Mt.Airy, Chestnut Hill, Germantown/Blue Bell Hill, Wyndmoor, Erdenheim, Flourtown and our own East Falls. Their website has tons of information, and also links to online scheduling for everything from hamster cage cleanings to caregiver live-ins.

Queenies pets card

No matter how much you hate paperwork, you’ll love Adina and her crew. Queenie’s Pets is high-end pet care with great, big heart.

happy dog and cat