Friday, 2 January 2015

Mostly moved....

Life got pretty busy after my last posting - both on a business & personal front but the container shipped in late September and I then managed a 10 day trip over to Pennsylvania in October and took the cats with me.  This is the story of how that trip went.

After booking my flight from Manchester to JFK I called customer services and made reservations for the 2 cats, to be paid at the airport on the day of travel. It is worth insisting and speaking to a supervisor if the first person you speak to claims they don't take animals.  In preparation the cats visited the vet a month in advance for microchips and rabies vaccinations, and then not more than 10 days before the flight another visit for the health and fitness to fly letter/certificate.

The morning of travel I woke up earlier than usual for our flight and let the cats out to do whatever cats do at 5am, then fed them a small breakfast and got them into their carriers. The carriers were labelled with the cats' names, chip numbers, flight number, ultimate destination address and our cell phone numbers.  I arrived at the airport 3 1/2 hours before the flight time and went to check in as normal with a trolley laden with suitcase and 2 cat carriers. The check in agent called down the pet check in agent who confirmed that the temperatures were fine for the cats and went through all the paperwork, I paid the fees for the cats and then weighed in the suitcase as normal baggage. The pet agent then escorted me and the cats through security, where I did have to open the carriers so they could be swabbed for testing! After security the cats and I went our separate ways and I was assured that their water bowls would be refreshed before loading.

I didn't actually see the cats being loaded onto the aircraft, but was assured they were on and "tied down" before I boarded. The flight was just as I like - blissfully uneventful.  On arrival at JFK I cleared immigration about 30 minutes after touchdown and then went to baggage claim, waited a few minutes for my suitcase and then a few more at oversize baggage for the cats. They were both fine and seemed quiet but awake and not at all distressed. Clearing customs was also straightforward, as usual. Some of the other passengers came over to see the cats before leaving, having seen them in the check in queue back in Manchester.

Then I met up with my husband for the first time in 2 months and drove home to PA via a route where I was able to see the Statue of Liberty. We stopped and rewatered the cats when we had a coffee and on arrival at our new home they came out of their carriers and explored every room, under every piece of furniture, inside every cupboard for the next couple of hours. I'm not sure whether my sons were more pleased to see their mum or their cats!

I promptly went down with a horrible cough & cold and spent most of my stay feeling pretty grim.  Work issues also reared their ugly head and had to be dealt with as soon as I returned to the UK.

The container was delivered a few days after I returned to the UK so husband and sons had the fun of unpacking it :-)