We went back to Reno this week. It was interesting. We called the renter and left him a message telling him we were coming by the house the next day. This is reasonable as the lease only requires 24 hours notice. Then apparently he sat on his phone and called me with his butt, as I was treated to part of a conversation between him and one of his kids explaining that someone had better be there, and if nobody was there we were likely to open the doors of their rooms and see the litter box.
There is no cat on the lease.
Then he actually called me and we had a nice chat about the state of the garden and the sprinklers. We told him we wanted to come check on the yard etc. and Matt wanted to change the air filter in the A/C and the water filter under the kitchen sink. He was gone camping all weekend with the dog, but conveniently, there would be a kid there.
So we go.
The house is pristine. You couldn't tell there was a dog living there, let alone a cat. It looks like they shampooed the carpets that week. In fact, it looks like they just moved in and WE shampooed the carpets last week.
Keep in mind, this is a single dad with two sons, a dog and a theoretical cat. And our cream-colored carpet. And they have been living there since April.
I think we scored in the renter department. It's so nice when something goes really really right. Also, they seem to be aware of what is going on in the garden. There looked like there had been a hurried cleanup but when he said on the phone that the sprinklers were all working, he knew what he was talking about. And there was a weird wet spring with a lot of late snow and most of the plants survived (which is awesome, considering we turned the sprinklers on in April too). So I did some pruning and cleanup so they wouldn't have to, and so if they did they could tell the weeds from the ground covers.
But the doors to the kids rooms were both shut. I think we will cross our fingers and try to keep away from the gift horse's mouth for now.