Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Away We Go... Ouch

We are driving to our favorite inn in Maine tomorrow because Back Bay gets too crazy over July 4th. I have just about finished packing way too much stuff, using a new method, rolling everything, so it fits better into my duffle and "doesn't wrinkle." I'm also bringing books and several months' worth of New Yorkers to read in the hot tub. Ah, the hot tub.

Normally, I look forward to these trips the way I looked forward to Christmas as a little girl. But this time, I feel so unhappy about leaving the cats that I've had an IBS attack. IBS allegedly affects 15% of Americans, so chances are good that you know all about it. It's not fatal, just annoying and occasionally painful.

I usually get attacks after trips, especially transatlantic flights. (I blame airline food: I've stopped having attacks since I've started refusing everything, including ice in drinks.) For years, I mistook these attacks for weeks-long bouts of food poisoning. I hope this one doesn't linger that long. I started taking a probiotic called Align, and I hope it does its magic again.

Then there's the BRAT diet: bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. I've lived on this for weeks and never shed so much as an ounce. I usually add chicken-egg-lemon soup (from Steve's on Newbury) and pita bread to the list. Oh, wait — isn't Maine lobster on the list, too? Do popovers at the Jordan Pond House, slathered in butter and strawberry jam, count as "toast"? I guess so.

I shouldn't be so concerned about leaving the cats: we have nice, seasoned, professional cat sitters coming, who've done a great job before. We've left the two older cats dozens of times, and they've always been fine. And the kittens, whom we've only left a couple of times, will be okay, too.

Actually, they'll miss us. Wendy will hide the moment the sitters come, so she won't have anyone to talk to, or to pet her. And Possum insisted on curling up on me five times today for petting and praise. What's he going to do when he wants attention? Call a feline escort service?

And I bet the older cats will try to convince the kittens that we've been killed by predators and we're never coming back. Even our vet was amazed at what a little sadist Snicky is — when we boarded her at the vet's, she took a front-row seat, from her cage, whenever a cat needed blood drawn or some other unpleasant procedure. The vet said Snicky was fascinated and they had to make sure she had the best view.

Yeah, Snicky will lie to them. Poor little babies!

My brain can be rational about this (it's just five days, everyone's health is stable, the sitters are pros...), but my digestive system clearly has its own opinions. I feel like there are little carpet bombs going off down there, causing strange, widespread pains and cramping. It feels like a really bad case of stage nerves, or butterflies, lasting for days instead of hours, and without reason.

I'll probably be posting from Maine, so be prepared for slightly more interesting stuff, or at least different topics and pretty pictures. Now it's time to take the carpet bombs to bed.

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