Ya, at least you have a trustworthy friend to help out and kitty stays home. I am not so fortunate, I do not have cat loving friends, family members or neighbours who can help out and I have a hubby who didn't trust leaving the house to a total stranger.
ET is extremely timid and afraid of strangers, its hard leaving him. I missed 2 family trips out of country for a visitation to my in-law's home town last year cos I was worried about him and, twice, I was actually sooo glad I wasn't feeling well enough to travel. That gives me the excuse to miss the trip. Hubby had no choice but to leave me behind, alone with ET (I wanted him to go ahead, cos I knew he wanted very much to go).
But this year, just last week, I had to go, I have no more excuses to miss the trip and hubby wouldn't hear of it cos I missed 2 visitations last year. I tell you, I slept only about 1hr the nite before ET's boarding, worrying about everything about his 1st time boarding. Now that I looked back, everything turned out ok since ET came home, it turned out, the boarding has gotton him missing me and loving me more. I won't elaborate further, there are still some minor changes in his eating habits that I need to work on. There are always a 1st time for everything, I wouldn't hesitate to go away again the next time. So, I can understand how you feel.