Marcello and Bolvar are a year-and-a-half now, and thus old enough for us to not feel terribly bad about leaving them to go on vacation. Yes, a prime reason we didn't do any overnight travel for the past year was we simply didn't know what to do about the kitties.
That's a pretty unique POV for us to have, mind you. Mister Bill was a very well-behaved old man kitty, able to make do with a one per day visit from a favorite cat sitter, grazing at his dry food feeder, and only mildly annoyed that his kitty water fountain was not up to his usual standards of pristine cleanliness.
These two are a whole different story. In large part due to their age, but also their distinct personalities. Bolvar, in addition to waking me up at precisely 6:30 a.m. every morning (the time at which my alarm typically goes off for work) whines about wanting new dry food at precisely 9 :00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. And he and Marcello's play can get out of hand enough to warrant time outs in separate rooms. thus, leaving them at home largely unsupervised just doesn't seem to be a good fit.
After asking around, I settled on Feline Wishes on the recommendation of my friend Sharon who had entrusted them with the care of her kitties on multiple occasions. Unlike some of the other places I looked into, Feline Wishes is cats-only, which is key to giving kitties not used to being around dogs a less stressful stay in my opinion. Their reviews on yelp were excellent, save for a few negative reviews that are hard to judge from a validity/truth standpoint (which is a frequently recurring issue I have with yelp reviews, since they don't give any way to vote down an invalid/incorrect/spurious review, unlike ePinions and other such review sites.)
I took a look around the facilities and was impressed with the setup. Kitties have a good sized space (think a slightly deeper bedroom closet) with a climbing rack with multiple perches, and a top of the enclosure bump out that allows them to spy on the hallway (and any person or feline out and about). And contrary to one yelp review which posited that the purveyors lied about letting the kitties have free roam every day to get some exercise and explore, when we arrived there was a kitty on walkabout.
I was impressed by the depth of their pre-stay intake paperwork. It was on par with registering a child for camp — asking about the pet's personality, favorite activities, quirks, etc., and allowing you to specify any special dietary needs. They even encourage you to bring in your cat's favorite toys and bedding to help them acclimate more quickly.
It remains to be seen how they actually *do* there on their first stay. But I'm hopeful that they'll have fun exploring, and that they'll play fetch with Marcello and give Bo many belly rubs, and become a place we can leave the kitty babies without worry.