Gift Suggestions for our most amazing Cat Sitter
May 10, 2018 1:36 PM   Subscribe

My neighbor (very willingly) looks after our two cats on a semi regular basis. We maybe take one or two trips a year that last longer than a week, but we go away a lot for weekends in the summer and she always feeds and looks after our babies while we are gone.

The question is, I'm running out of ideas for gifts for her.

If we are gone on a long trip, over a week, I usually get her a $100 Gift Card for groceries as well as a Gift Card for a popular shop in our neighbourhood. We've also taken her and her SO out for dinner before to say thank you.

For shorter trips, a weekend, I usually buy her flowers or get her some wine. We've brought gifts back from our trips.

Do you have any suggestions for other nice gifts I can give her for a short trip? I'd like it to be something around the $50 mark I guess..... I'm running out of ideas and appealing to you for your imagination!!!

For more context, our neighbor is retired. She adores our cats and we have a good friendship with her outside of her cat-sitting. I'm not terribly sure about any other hobbies she has apart from daily walks and going to the local pool every day. Every time I give her a Thank You gift, she tuts and tells me not to bother, but I AM going to bother because even though she likes feeding our cats, I'll be damned if I'm not getting her a gift of some sort.

I'm a bit stuck for ideas though! HELP!
posted by JenThePro to Grab Bag (15 answers total)
If she's happy (the 'tut' is her being polite, I think), and you're happy - keep doing what your doing! As she is retired, she may not need/want more 'stuff' so think about gift certs to 'experiences' - manicures, massages - that kind of thing. Gifts from your trips could possibly be in the form of consumables you know she'd like (chocolate, wine, special spices, etc).
posted by dbmcd at 1:39 PM on May 10 [2 favorites]

Make her a calendar with pictures of your cats! Shutterfly and the like make it easy.
posted by argonauta at 1:55 PM on May 10 [4 favorites]

A nice box of chocolates, or a gift certificate to your local movie theater?
posted by sunflower16 at 1:57 PM on May 10

Haha, I have this kind of relationship with a few cats and their humans give me Starbucks gift cards.
posted by batter_my_heart at 1:58 PM on May 10 [6 favorites]

I think you're doing great and I'm not sure why you want to change it up. If she's on a fixed income, the grocery store gift certificate is probably much appreciated. I'm nearing retirement, and the one thing I don't want at this point in my life is more stuff.

If you're in houses rather than apartments or condos, she might appreciate it if you do some weeding or mow her lawn for her (though it's also possible she and her SO love doing that stuff). I've had neighbors shovel my driveway and even clean out gutters without asking, and I was so grateful.

(So lovely to read about a positive relationship like this!)
posted by FencingGal at 2:24 PM on May 10 [10 favorites]

Gift certificates to restaurants on town!
posted by raccoon409 at 2:46 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

Gift cards for groceries are a great idea, maybe packaged with an adorable photo of the cats.
posted by jazzbaby at 2:47 PM on May 10

I think you're doing it exactly right (we have friends who take care of our Feline Overlord when we're out of town, and we usually treat them to a nice brunch).

That said, cat pictures?
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 3:53 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

Gift card for a swim store-- bathing suits aren't cheap and using them daily is a lot. And if pool visits are a pay per visit type of thing, see what kind of gift card you could give for that. (At mine, you can buy a ten visit punch card, I think.)
posted by Margalo Epps at 4:57 PM on May 10 [5 favorites]

Museum or other cultural institution membership.
posted by sciencegeek at 5:46 PM on May 10

My go-to in these situations are Tis Best charity gift cards. The recipient gets to pick which org to donate to and they can choose from literally hundreds different charities. You can gift an e-card via email or you can print a custom plastic card that looks more like a regular gift card from a store but with your own image (that's what I do... it's not environmentally correct but I like to hand out a personalized physical card inside a hand-written card). People just LOVE these cards.
posted by rada at 8:40 PM on May 10

Nthing "keep doing what you're doing." More than likely, spending time with your kitties is its own reward, but what you're doing now seems great. Home made baked goods might go over well, if the neighbor has no dietary restrictions that would prohibit that.
posted by jzb at 10:03 PM on May 10 [1 favorite]

Visa gift card, Amazon gift card, Landsend (swim suits), Coldwater Creek, donation to humane society/ animal shelter, cat rescue in her name. Reminders that your kitties love her - photo of her with cats?

Also, I believe there is a policy that you post pictures of cats when posting kitty
posted by theora55 at 6:41 AM on May 11 [4 favorites]

i was going to suggest a nice luxurious swim towel, but i also like the idea of a GC to a swim suit place. if you're going somewhere that has a "trademark" food, that could be fun to bring back. like cherries from traverse city, mi, or whatever.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 8:04 AM on May 11

Is she computer comfortable? Do you live in a metro area where Grubhub gift cards are useful? Or do you have a local service that delivers from a selection of restaurants? It would be a treat if she could occasionally order delivery.

Does she like pedicures?
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 8:43 AM on May 12

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