After this stress I deserve a holiday, says Camille Berriman

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By the time you read this I will be returning home from a foreign holiday, and about to face whatever delights the British weather has in store.

Anyone who knows me will be aware that holidays are the highlight of my year. But while holidays are enjoyable, there is an element of stress involved and my pre-holiday ritual seems to become more involved every time I go away.I don’t restrict pre-holiday activities to topping up on the factor 20 and ensuring I have enough underwear to last the week. Oh no, my routine encompasses new clothes; pampering of nails and tidying the house from top to bottom to ensure the return home is as painless as possible.

But the most stressful job is ensuring my three cats also go on their holiday in one piece. And taking three furballs to the cattery is not as easy as it sounds.

Before my last holiday I had to find a new cattery for the fur babies, as our previous one had closed down. The hunt for a new feline holiday home up to their high standards has resulted in a doubling of the cost, but at least they can see chickens from their pen and it seems nice.

As I write, all three cats are snoozing on the sofa. Peace reigns in the household. But I am aware that in two hours’ time, as soon as I even look at the cat carriers (I brought them in the house three days ago in order to avoid the kitty panic which normally ensues when they appear), they will sense something is up and all hell will break loose.

I don’t need to worry about the boys so much. When I put them in from of their respective carriers they adopt a look of resignation and walk straight in. Not the girl. She hides (last time she squeezed herself between the PC tower and desk, resulting in me unplugging and removing the computer to extract her) and when I do catch her she is paws and claws everywhere. In protest at the last kitty holiday, she even kindly evacuated her bowels while in the car.

So while you might be jealous of my holiday, do spare a thought for the rigmarole I will have gone through just to get away. I know I will deserve my break after the pre-holiday stress!