Housesitting in Cambridge for Cats and Guinea Pigs

23 May, 2024

Housesitting in Cambridge for Cats and Guinea Pigs

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Every chance I get I escape the bounds of my office to become a housesitter, usually choosing a new location for the experience. Housesitting in Cambridge last week offered some fantastic delights that I was surprised and delighted by. Read on to learn more about my experience in Cambridgeshire petsitting for four cats and six delightful guinea pigs. It was more fun that I could have imagined.

My Housesitting in Cambridge with Cats and Guinea Pigs

tabby cat greeting me at the door
Every time I entered the house I received a warm welcome from Pickle, the only boy in the Cats Cradle.

Photo by Lamia Walker

By running HouseSit Match I often get to see the housesitting opportunities first. Yes, it’s a real privilege and other times I step in and offer my services if the homeowners really need support. It always seems more appealing if I haven’t spent any real time in the location before; I just love travel by housesitting even in my own country. An opportunity for housesitting in Cambridge came up recently and it exceeded even my expectations.

The Pets to Care for in my Housesitting in Cambridge

In total I had 10 pets to care for during my Cambridgeshire housesit, though to be honest it was a lot easier than it sounds. The house is located very near Cambridge in one of the historic villages in the Fens surrounded by water ways and agricultural land.

The Cats

four cats in a kitchen of my housesitting in cambridge
The four cats gathered in readiness ahead of mealtimes. They just knew when to meet making it very easy for me

Photo by Lamia Walker

The eldest cat at nearly 17 years of age is Haggis, quiet and calm and she more or less lived in the kitchen so was always easy to find. Then during the housesitting in Cambridge I also had the company of Pickle, Scribble and Arwen, each one has a striking personality all of their own.

The Guinea Pigs

The Guinea pigs were a hoot. All free range and running around the garden for exercise Honestly, I couldn’t believe how entertaining they were. They’re competitive with each other, chasing around to grab the last piece of carrot left from every meal.

Every morning Jelly Bean would be first to the kitchen door asking for breakfast swiftly followed by the rest of the gang comprising Cumin, Nigella, Clover, Coriander, Sesame and Ethel.

guinea pigs eating cut cabbage and carrots on the lawn
The guinea pigs were easy to care for and incredibly entertaining during the housesitting in Cambridge

Photo by Lamia Walker

Visiting the City During my Housesitting in Cambridge

My hosts had recommended I head into the city to enjoy all Cambridge had to offer over the weekend. There was a lively market in the centre, graduation ceremonies in many of the colleges, and naturally student protests about the political issues of the day. It’s a truly vibrant city.

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge
The William Blake exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum recommended by my hostess was simply brilliant.

Photo by Lamia Walker

As suggested by the owners I visited the Fitzwilliam Museum to look at the Blake exhibition called William Blake’s Universe. It was fascinating and looked at his influences historical and cultural and the demonstrated the remarkable foresight he exhibited in his work even predicting, for example, the American Revolution.

Exhibition book of William Blake's Universe
A fascinating exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Walking the city while housesitting in Cambridge

Some of the more predictable views in this historic city full of students and academics is the presence of beautiful architecture and well tended college campuses. The colleges are also crowded mainly in the centre of the city full of tourists, bicycles, residents shopping and commuting on buses in cars. It’s a busy place full of character, history and culture.

 

bicycles parked on a college campus in Cambridge
There were bicycles everywhere, naturally. This is Cambridge

Photo by Lamia Walker

Another iconic view of Cambridge is of punters on the River Cam that runs through the city.  These punts of small long boats that are propelled by the use of a long pole that pushes the boat along the river bed with gentle plunges into the water. Punting is calm and peaceful.

a man punting on the River Cam in Cambridge
Cambridge is a beautiful city with the River Cam running through the centre. Punting is ever popular

Photo by Karen Cann

Among the normal shops in the city are are a number of establishments dedicated to academic study and robing.

shop window in Cambridge showing the price of academic gown rental
There was no doubt of the main business of this city – a world class academic centre

Photo by Lamia Walker

Other Joys of Housesitting in Cambridge

mantlepiece with cat ornaments
A cat lovers home with real character

Photo by Lamia Walker

One of the real joys I experience when housesitting anywhere is discovering a new life and the owner’s footprint so to speak. How do they live? Where do they like to visit and would recommend I visit. I try to follow their recommendations if I can because they would be far better informed and able to guide my living like a local than any outsider.

Visiting Ely Nearby

One of the recommendations they offered was that I should visit Ely and not to miss the Cathedral. Again the opportunity or housesitting in Cambridge allowed me to stagger by visits to various destinations over a number of days. There was so much to see, I simply couldn’t do it all.

Evensong at Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral
I visited Ely Cathedral on a stunning blue sky day – this is a view of the West Tower.

Photo by Lamia Walker

I had read about the famous Choir at Ely Cathedral, the choir boys are often featured on national radio for Christmas Carol broadcasts. So I jumped at the chance to experience my host’s suggestion to visit. However, nothing could have prepared me for the breathtaking interiors.

The original Ely Abbey was founded in the seventh century as a mixed community of men and women, by St Etheldreda of East Anglia.

view up to one of the stained glass windows in Ely Cathedral
Every internal view offers awe inspiring glimpses of historic architecture and stained glass at every glance

Photo by Lamia Walker

One of the custodians approached us all as Cathedral visitors and invited us to attend Evensong in the Nave. What a moving experience that was. The prayers led by Dean of the Cathedral and the hymns sung by the Cathedral Choir Boys were a transporting experience. The early evening light streamed through the stained glass windows in the nave, and made the whole scene highly atmospheric. What a privilege to attend!

light streaming through the stained glass windows in the nave at Ely Catheral
Sitting in the Nave for Evensong at Ely Cathedral was a transporting experience

Photo by Lamia Walker

Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan Home

For an extreme contrast after leaving the Cathedral’s High Anglican ceremony of Evensong, with an exquisite choir, I decided to visit Oliver Cromwell’s Puritan home which is located literally next door like a last laugh gesture to the Puritans.

Oliver Cromwells house in Ely
Next to Ely Cathedral is Oliver Cromwell’s family home Photo by Lamia Walker

The walls were stripped of ornament in typical 17 Century Puritan fashion, and historical facts about Oliver Cromwell‘s rise from MP for Huntingdon to Lord Protector of England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. To this day Cromwell remains a controversial figure, especially for his brutality in using his army to acquire political power.

One room full of fascinating curios in the house was the kitchen where Cromwell’s wife was in charge.

recipes from Elizabeth Cromwell's cookbook
Note excerpts Elizabeth Cromwell’s cookbook eg ‘four and twenty blackbirds’ baked in a pie is actually a party trick

Photo by Lamia walker

Parting is such sweet sorrow – Goodbye to my housesitting in Cambridge

It is hard to say what I enjoyed most in my housesitting in Cambridge, for such a short trip I managed to spend a lot of time with the pets and when they were busy eating, sleeping, roaming around their garden I was able to enjoy my host’s recommended tourist destinations. Such a fun trip!

a view of the eighteenth century house from the back garden
This housesitting in Cambridge was full of fun pet personalities and a wonderful escape from my own life

I love house and petsitting for the opportunity it offers to visit new locations and explore fantastic destinations not just house sitting in Cambridge, across the UK but also all over the world. I would definitely do another housesitting in Cambridge because there was so much more to see. Perhaps I’ll apply for your housesit next…

Lamia Walker

Founder of HouseSit Match

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Further reading about housesitters and housesitting UK

At Housesit Match we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.

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Free housesitting websites or free housesitters – Which is best

What is House Sitting?


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LamiaW

LamiaW

Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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