Over the weekend, I visited a swell spot for pets of all kinds and their vacationing owners: Now Boarding. This animal boarding biz, affiliated with the Humane Society, offers a clean, bright space for animals with ample room for roaming. It's in the shadow of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Customers can park their car on the lot for $11/day (less than what you'd pay at the airport) and get a free shuttle to their terminal included.  When I arrived, dogs ranging from a dozing dalmation to an excited shih tzu were in the communal area, romping around and playing with three human supervisors.

I was cheered immediately, which is good because I went with some trepidation, seeking a possible spot for my aging cat. Just down the hall, what I saw in the kitty condo room put me more at ease.  Cats were hang out in their own two-room flats; each of them get one or two turns outside their condo in the larger room, where they can climb towers or warming themselves in the sun at the floor-to-ceiling windows. I peeked into the small critter room, too, and saw two bunnies with carrots in their cages.

What prompted the visit? I've been fretting about what to do with my cat while my family takes an extended vacation. My feline is the nervous sort. The kind that vomits when I'm away. And doesn't quite make it to her litter box. I have dealt with that by paying people to stay with her, and by keeping a big box of carpet cleaner at the ready. Now, maybe, instead of sitting on my lap, she'll be living in the lap of luxury -- at least for a few days.