And it was harder than I thought. My friend Bob was family for a long time but has been MIA the last 5 years or so. Last year I heard from his three or four times, to invite me to parties where he'd invited all my ex-husband's friends so... not so much. He asked me to babysit his brand new kitten last summer while he went camping with the ex and the rest of my pre-divorce friends (lost 'em all in the divorce shake out) and didn't even bother to get together with me beforehand to turn over the keys or anything. So I was irritated. Came home and sent me an email saying he'd say a proper thank you and take me out for dinner when he'd had a chance to settle in. It's a year later and the only time I've heard from him in the interim 12 months was to send a FB event invitation to help him move.
So this is the week that camping starts and I hadn't heard anything from him - I figured that since he and his new girlfriend moved in next to her parents, they had catsitting and didn't need me. Which made it very surprising to get an email from him late last night saying "Hi, how are you? I don't have anyone to watch Kitty - can I impose on you to do it?"
The small petty part of me really wanted to send a note explaining exactly why I wouldn't be driving 20 minutes away to feed the cat for someone who can't be bothered to even say hi to me and who still hasn't thanked me for the last feed-the-cat adventure. Thought about it. Thought about what I'd accomplish (nothing) and decided on a note that said "Hi! It's really good to hear from you. Things here are going great. I'm really sorry but I won't be able to take care of Kitty while you're gone. Hope you have an awesome time though!"
I was proud of myself. I took the high road, didn't make up an excuse, remembered that it's okay to say No, and still managed to be pleasant.
Although I will confess to being more annoyed because there was no answering email to say "okay, thanks anyway" or whatever. Apparently I'm only good for asking for favors.