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Winter Cat Visits 101: Is the Oil Tank Full?


“Is the oil tank full?” This is among the most basic and important question the cat professional needs accurate answers to before wintertime cat visits begin while cat owners travel. Pipes bursting in pet homes due to broken heating systems may result in an uninhabitable house before and during repairs. Pet owners want to avoid homelessness!

Ruptured pipes can cause scores of thousands of dollars in home rehab. An oil delivery plan is a strategic way to avoid fuel tanks running empty, and annual servicing of the heating system decreases malfunction. Additionally, if pipes burst due to an empty oil tank, the homeowners insurance company may be less apt to pay for repairs.

My daily 20-30 minute visits for 3 cats over 7 days turned into an emergency unscheduled sleepover after the oil tank ran out of fuel the 3rd day. Visiting Mo, Larry, and Curly the 3rd day, the house was cold. I checked the oil tank which looked very low or out of oil. I called the fuel company who came over without oil to service the oil burner. The only available oil would be delivered the next day and a new filter would be installed for the oil burner.

Superior Customer Service Returning to the cats home that evening, the house was 44 degrees. The weather report predicted -15 chills that night with a high of 5 degrees! The cats were agitated and unhappy, scurrying about meowing in distress. I started running water in 3 sinks that faced outside walls and a bathtub. I also turned on the electric stove to 390 degrees and opened the stove door all night. An electric heater provided comfort to the cats in their bedroom. I gave the cats an extra ration of canned meat for the stress of the cold.

They huddled around the large dinner plate and ate all the canned fish meat with feline gusto. I slept on the uncomfortable couch overnight due to the emergency. Superior pet customer service was necessary in this emergency. The cat owner, over 7000 miles away, had no local family; otherwise, I may not have stayed the night if family members had been available.

When I awoke at 3 AM, the house temperature had risen just 2 degrees to 46. Thankfully no pipes broke over night, oil was delivered 8:30 AM, and the cats and house were warm, safe, and happy!

Why are certain cat owners mistaken about tanks being much lower in oil than what they relate to the pet professional? Pet owner travel transitions are full of multi tasking, which can include mistakes. Sometimes pet owners are low on money.

“Is the oil tank full?” is a most important question the pet professional needs to ask the pet owner!!

Robert Berkelhammer is the Author of Pet Care Givers & Families: Getting the Most From Dog Playgroups, Pet Sitters, and Walkers. Also, see our MULTI-USE FAMILY PET CARE CONTRACT, a must-have organizing tool for you, your family, pet care professionals, and most importantly your pets! www.robertberkelhammer.com

Please consider helping me continue my important work helping pets as I develop as pet care professional and expert. All Donors will receive a free copy of the 16-page Family Pet Contract! Learn more

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