Minnie seemed OK this morning when I stopped by PetSmart to visit her--OK relative to her circumstances, anyway. She was shedding like mad, which is not exactly a sign of serenity, but she was peacefully asleep on her fleece bed when the PetsHotel lady came in to feed everybody this morning. She (the PH lady) said that Minnie had only just started meowing loudly, so she must have seen me coming down the aisle (her room looks directly out at it). I held her and loved on her quite a while, she calmed down a bit, then she ate some of her food (both wet & dry, everything exactly as I'd instructed) and gave me the tiniest of purrs. I stayed a little bit longer, petting her and smooching her little head, then I had to put her back in her room and go to work.
I'm pleased to report that the cat room was spotless and so were the cages. It's not a very big room, but then cats aren't very big, either. The cages are stacked 2 high--and they're stable, built-in little "rooms" with solid floors, not just naked wire cages. Each cage has three levels: a high perch, a mid-level perch with a sheepskin bed on it, and the floor where the litterbox and food/water dishes are. I noticed three other "lodgers" while I was there, but I zeroed in on Minnie pretty quickly, so there might have been more. I saw a beautiful apple-head Siamese in the room next door to Minnie's when I checked her in yesterday, but he/she was absent today. One of the other lodgers present was a lovely gray cat with white touches here & there named--of all things--Meatball.
I did not smell a single objectionable odor in the cat room. They use wood-pellet litter and the PH lady said that Minnie the Picky did try the litter and found it pee-worthy. The only mess on view was a scatter of dry food in the cage of two kitties (from the same family, sharing quarters) who knocked over their bowl. The PH employees were about to do their cleaning when I got there, and judging by the lack of stink and the pristine floor, no one lets any mess sit for long. The cats get TLC time while their cages are being cleaned out--they get to run around and get some exercise, play, & lovin'-on. That's done twice a day.
The temperature in the room is quite comfortable--a major improvement over the sauna that is my house right now! I could hear the dogs in the PH only faintly, and none of the store noise. All in all, not too stressful an environment, except that Minnie's used to have the run of the house, the yard, the neighborhood, under the house.... But she'll do fine. And now that I've seen the place and her very clean room, I feel much better about my decision to board her. She really was miserable at home.
Update, 6:39 pm: I just got back my afternoon visit with Minnie and she's doing very well. She was less vocal and more curious this time--much more normal. And, apparently, she's the sweetheart of PetsHotel--they all love petting her soft fur and she's getting along with everyone. :) I'm so relieved!