This is Miranda Murdock.
Many in the pet sitting industry are already quite familiar with Miranda because of her commitment to freely share her knowledge with sitters across various communities.
Her journey to become a professional pet sitter is unique and began after spending more than two decades in the U.S. Military (details inside the recording).
The story Miranda shares is nothing short of beautiful. It takes place over the course of 4 years, involves growing close to her (human) client, Jim, who underwent 13 surgeries for cancer, and ends with successfully fulfilling a promise she made months before Jim passed away.
In this episode of Super Hero Sitters, Miranda redefines the role of a professional pet sitter.
Transcript Of Today’s Video
Thanks for taking some time in joining us today, Miranda.
Miranda: You’re welcome, Josh. I’m happy to be here.
Josh: Let’s begin with a little snapshot. What were you doing right before you opened
up a pet sitting company?
Miranda: Right before I opened my pet sitting company, I was working for the
Shreveport Police Department in their public information office. I did that for three
years. Prior to that, I did active duty military in the Air Force for almost 28 years.
Josh: What was your position there?
Miranda: My rank was chief master sergeant, but I was the first sergeant and
responsible for the health, morale, welfare, and discipline of all of the enlisted troops.
Josh: How did you find yourself going from active military to a pet sitter?
Miranda: I realized I was coming up on 50 years old and had never owned my own
business, so I decided that’s what I wanted to do; and I picked pet sitting because my
husband had made the announcement that after our pets, that we had at that time, passed,
that weren’t getting anymore so that we would be free to travel. So I knew I would need
to get a pet somewhere. But in the meantime, since he made that proclamation, we’ve
since acquired two new dogs and a parrot, so this proclamation kind of went out of the
Josh: Tell me what happened starting a few years ago with one of your clients?
Miranda: In 2007, I was contacted by a woman whose brother was in the hospital and
she had been taking care of his cats; but because she lives in a different town and worked
full time, it beginning to be a strain for her; so she hired me to go over everyday and
take care of the cat while Jim, my client, was in the hospital. Over the next few months,
Jim was hospitalized off and on many times. In the end, I think he ended up having 13
different surgeries for cancer.
In 2009, Jim asked me if I would continue to care for the cats even when he was there,
because he had gotten so frail and was heavily medicated with pain medication and
did not always remember to feed the cat. So, he just felt that it was better that I come
everyday, and to be honest, I think he liked the companionship. Because, when you see
somebody everyday, you develop a friendship with them. He didn’t eat very much. He
was, like I said, a little old man; but he would sometimes get a craving for a hamburger
and he would call me up in the morning and say, “When you come over, could you stop
and get me a hamburger?” He used to make me laugh. His brother would call me and
say, tomorrow is Jim’s birthday could you go and pick him up a cake, which I would.
Josh: So you really quickly became not only a friend, but really part of the family.
Miranda: A part of the family and I think his connection to the outside world. Because
as he got weaker, he did not go out very much and the few times that I wasn’t available,
if I had to go out of town, then one of my sons would go over and take care of his cat and
sit with him and talk with him.
Josh: So what happened next?
Miranda: As I said, he was getting weaker and so we had several conversations about
what happened to his cats, Patches and Paws. He was losing his will, because he was in
an awful lot of pain; but I told Jim that I would continue to care for Patches and Paws
until I found them a permanent home, and unbeknownst to me at that time that we were
having those conversations, he did contact his lawyer and made provisions both the cats
continued care and for my bills continued being paid. The cats would remain in the
house and funds were set aside from the estate for the cat’s care. The cats actually had
to go to a home. They could not be taken to a shelter. I just told him that I would make
sure that the cats were taken care of until they were safely in a new home.
Josh: Tell me what happened when you made one of your next pet sitting visits to Jim’s
Miranda: Like I said, I was doing daily visits and I did a daily visit one day and I came
in and I hollered for Jim, because he was not in the living room where I usually found
him; but he didn’t answer, and I assumed that the neighbor had taken him to the doctor;
but something bothered me and I left and did my other sits, but something kept tinkling
me in the back of my brain, so I went back about 2 hours later and this time when I called
for him, I heard a little bit of moaning. And I previously looked in the bedroom but I did
not see him in the bed, but when I heard the moaning, I went further and apparently Jim
had fallen down and in his effort to get up, all he had succeeded in doing was pushing
himself further under the bed and only his feet was sticking out, which is why it wasn’t
immediately noticeable to me. At that time, I called 911 and they came and got him, but
that was the last trip that he would make to the hospital. He did not come home from that
one and passed away about a week later in the hospital. By this time, I have been seeing
cat and Jim everyday for 2 years. I also knew his neighbors, and the neighbor decided to
do a good deed because the grass hasn’t been watered and he had hooked up the sprinkler
in the backyard and when I walked into the house, the kitchen and the laundry room were
both completely flooded. Each room had about 3 inches of standing water. Because
unbeknownst to anybody, the previous winter, the pipe going to that outside hose bib had
cracked inside the wall. So the water was just going into the wall and eventually under
the wall into the kitchen and the laundry room.
Josh: So at this point, Jim passes on and how long before we have a happy ending for
the cats, which were provisioned to stay in the home. You continued to go on and care
for them in their home every day at this point, right?
Miranda: Yes. Jim passed away in September and I’ve seen the cats everyday since and
as a matter of fact, today, at 6 o’clock I am meeting a woman who is driving a 150 miles
round trip to take Patches and Paws home to live with her dog, and her pet pig, and her
Josh: So you successfully, you said September, so about 5 or 6 months, you have been
going every day to Jim’s home to take care of his cats?
Miranda: Yes, every day. And that’s the kind of sad part because Patches and Paws
are very, they’re not hidey cats. They’re very friendly cats and they love to play. So they
needed human companionship.
Josh: So the timing of this conservation couldn’t be more perfect because purely
coincidental today, you have successfully adopted them out to a great loving home.
Miranda: Yes. This young woman emailed me and said she had been waiting for 2 cats,
just like Patches and Paws, and she is meeting me today at 6 o’clock and like I said, bless
your heart, she is driving 150 miles round trip to do this.
Josh: Really bless your heart, Miranda. I mean that is an incredible story. What do you
think the lesson of all of this is? Because let’s not forget, when the sister first contacted
you a few years ago, you were just a stranger and only after time did you become a friend
and even more so a family member.
Miranda: I think the biggest lesson is (1) if you know you have a chronic terminal
illness to make arrangements for your pets while you still can; and (2) you’ve got to find
a pet sitter that you can trust to take care of things in your absence and that you know will
handle things the way you wanted to. It would’ve been easy to take the cats to a shelter
and drop them off. So you want to make sure that your pet sitter is on the same wave
length with you as far as what the pets deserve and how they deserve to live the rest of
Josh: Well, if this is any indication, how you treat all of your clients, I would certainly
welcome the opportunity to be one of those clients and I do want to thank you, Miranda,
for taking the time to speak with us and share your beautiful story.
Miranda: Thank you, Josh for giving me the opportunity to tell everyone about Patches
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