....a two week cat sitting assignment in SINGAPORE

Singapore Merlion- official mascot of Singapore

How and why?

So we had a bit of free time and felt we needed a quick break away for a couple of weeks. We checked out the ‘’ website and found a house sit in Singapore, with dates that matched ours. The assignment was to look after a Burmese cat while the ex-pat owners took a holiday in Europe.

There are not many house sits advertised for Singapore as most of the ex-pats have their maids, who do the house sitting while they are away, so we were lucky to stumble upon this one. We had been to Singapore many times on our annual trips back home to New Zealand over the 15 or so years when we were working overseas, but only as quick stop-over visits for no more than two or three days at a time, so we were looking forward to seeing Singapore in a bit more depth and from more of a locals' point of view.

Singapore via the Gold Coast

We left Auckland in the bleak mid-winter and en route to Singapore headed to the wonderful warm climate that the Gold Coast enjoys in winter for a few days to catch up with friends en route to Singapore. We had booked to stay at the Novotel Surfers Paradise (see Room Check section for further details) and the location was great, but, even though we had requested a “quiet room” the noise from the local night clubs and the roar from the lift wells meant we were fairly sleep-deprived by the end of our stay. 

 Great day and night time views from 

the ‘Noisy Novotel’ in Surfers Paradise.

From Novotel, Surfers Paradise

We enjoyed our quick stopover on the Gold Coast, as always, and catching up with our friends. Now it's an early morning flight to Singapore to look after Charlie the cat. Looking forward to some tropical heat!

The house sitting experience

Flying out of the Gold Coast

Meet Charlie, the 7-year-old Burmese cat, whom we are looking after in Singapore. It's hot and he's lying out on the cool tiles in the shade. He only has one interest in life and that's food!

Singapore tall tropical  mango tree
Charlie our house sit cat
Charlie our house sit cat

The large majority of people living in Singapore live in high rise apartments so we were fortunate to be staying in an old colonial-style house that is destined to be demolished along with the neighbouring houses to make way for more high rise apartment blocks. 

The garden is magnificent many trees including a huge mango tree, a banana tree and even an avocado tree. Apparently we were fortunate that it wasn’t the mango season as it drops heaps of mangoes every day and they need to be picked up promptly to avoid attracting fruit flies.

Living like locals - Singapore. 
Charlies owner walked us down to the local hawkers’ centre the first night we were there and introduced us to some of the cooks and some interesting new dishes. 

The one that fascinated us the most and it tasted delicious was the 'carrot cake.' Please note! It has absolutely no carrot in it and is not a cake!!! It is made with rice flour and white radish which is steamed, cut into cubes and fried with eggs, garlic and a preserved white radish.

Singapore carrot cake
Singapore local hawker centre in Bedok
Singapore hawker centre Bedok

Local life style centre.

This is our local "lifestyle centre." Six covered tennis courts on the top floor, huge swimming pool - indoor and outdoor-on the 5th floor, the almost fully automated and impressive library takes up two floors. There are dance and music studios, badminton courts, table tennis and a massive gym. Costs about $1 to use the pools and about $2 to use the gym. Very impressive complex.

Heartbeat@Bedok - Singapore lifestyle centre
Heartbeat@Bedok -the gym  Singapore lifestyle centre
Heartbeat@Bedok- the library-Singapore lifestyle centre
Heartbeat@Bedok-one of the pools-Singapore lifestyle centre

Reverse car parking skills

How are your reverse parking skills? If you're coming to Singapore and will be driving you need to able to back into car parks. ALL car parking here is by reverse parking. You put on your hazard lights when you are going to back into a car park. This gives the drivers behind no indication of whether you are going right or left. I'm just glad I'm not driving

Singapore reverse parking
Marina Bay Sands sign!
Singapore National Day rehearsals

National Day Celebrations

We went Marina Bay to check out the rehearsals for the Singapore National Day celebrations in August. It was most impressive with such a lot happening. Fireworks, cannons, sky divers, fly- overs  by the military in their noisy jets, helicopters flying a huge Singaporean flag.

Bye bye Singapore and the lovely Charlie the cat, who we know loved us very much because a few nights previously he brought in a present and dropped it at our feet while we were quietly watching tv. A BIG HALF EATEN RAT! My response was to run and lock myself in the bedroom and leave the bold, brave Roger to deal with it! Eeek.


If you're planning a trip to Singapore you'll find some valuable hints and tips from accommodation to transport at

Singapore shopping sculpture

Find out how to add house sitting to your travel plans in 3 easy steps. 



Maureen Spencer

Maureen is a travel writer lucky enough to be living in New Zealand and has a great passion for travel. Since she became "empty nested" in the late 1990s she has traveled and worked in over 70 countries!


Now she writes articles to share her amazing experiences with other travelers in the hope of providing practical information to help them to prepare and plan for their travel trips. 

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