I have a dilemma. I started a cattery business this year, breeding Siamese and Balinese cats. My first big 'kitten season' is underway; I have one litter born last Sunday, another due Jan. 5, another due Jan. 28, a fourth due Feb. 12. Kittens are harder to raise than one might think. For the first two weeks they can easily die of sepsis and they have to be watched like a hawk. After that they can still die of sepsis or 'fading kitten syndrome' and have to be weighed daily and monitored. New mothers are anxious and, if disturbed or stressed, can and will turn on their kittens, either rejecting them or in the worst case scenario killing them. My husband has a week off in January; they have extra staff next month, which doesn't always happen. He wants me to come with him to Miami for five days. At that time I will have four week old kittens and two-week old kittens, both from first-time mothers. Another queen will be due in a week. I don't have definite help with the cattery. My daughter, who is in her senior year, didn't care for the cats properly last fall when I went away for two days (and there were no kittens). She got distracted with her music and friends and 'forgot' to change the water and clean the boxes. I returned to find half the cats with stinking, slimed empty water bowls and reeking boxes. She was grounded etc. etc. and apologized profusely, but I don't feel comfortable asking her to care for a larger number of cats now, plus two litters of kittens. I have a young woman who just started helping with house cleaning and I could ask her/train her to do this, but I'm not sure if she will or if she'll do everything properly. (For example, kitten/queen bedding has to be changed and washed daily, to keep the bacterial load down in the nest box.) Plus, I'm not sure that the first-time queens would be able to relax around her and let her change bedding and weigh the kittens daily - they could decide the kittens aren't safe and kill them. I've explained to husband that I'd love to go to Miami but I don't have help available that gives me confidence, and I don't want to come back to a bunch of dead kittens. They might do fine, but they might not. This isn't a big business that supports our family, but still ... I haven't had a career or a business for a long time because of the kids' health problems, and I want to do this right. And these animals are dependent on the care we give them. I'm the one who set up the cattery and their living conditions and I have a duty to ensure they are cared for properly. There will be times when I'm 'between' litters of kittens and can go away more easily, when there are just pregnant queens in the cattery. I told husband this but he says he can't count on getting time off at those times, he 'misses his wife' and wants me to come, and so on. I'm getting 'you're putting your cats above me' vibes, and 'you're not devoting time to your marriage' vibes, although these things are not said outright. I'd love to go and I'd like to have a short vacation with my husband; I also need to care for the cats that depend on me and that are my small business. I resent the idea that my business is just a pastime that amuses me and I should be available constantly to fall in with plans that come up rather suddenly (husband tends to be spontaneous and likes to decide to go places on the spur of the moment. It hasn't been possible for quite some time due to short staffing in his company, which is why I figured having cats wouldn't be a problem). Writing this out makes things clearer for me, but I still feel guilty. Any thoughts?