Today I'm vintage
My mother-in-law has decided she simply must come for a visit. I'm concerned that a stranger in the house for 4 days might upset my cats. What should I do?
Puzzled in Peoria
You should rent a hotel room.
Even if your MIL is a very very nice person, she probably will not be a very very nice house guest. She will probably take over your bathroom for 45 minutes in the morning, even though you're the one that has to go to work. She'll probably stay up later than you, and make lots of unnecessary racket while you're trying to sleep. She'll probably order a bunch of junk online and send it to your house before her visit, and then force you to sit and watch while she opens each package, occasionally announcing that whatever it is is the wrong size/color/too heavy, and she'll just have to "leave it here." She probably won't stop talking for even 5 minutes. She'll probably look at your wedding photos and announce that you were "fatter" then.
And she will definitely, definitely scare your kitties, who will have to spend those 4 days curled up in a closet--except at night, when they'll have to stand guard at the bedroom door, just to make sure The Stranger doesn't come in to attack you (which is pretty thoughtful/amusing).
So really, unless the visit is just one night, or unless one or the other of you is destitute and can't afford it (and I'd think about selling off some blood or organs!), rent a hotel room.
Have a purrrrrrrfect day!