Now, although I would have loved to break down and weep, I did NOT. Instead, guess what I did first and foremost?
I immediately phoned our pet travel agency in South Africa and asked them to put the wheels in motion to get our kitties home. Then I phoned Zahra of the Dar Es Salaam expediters with whom I did business in December 2013 (when I sent Rina's cats to SA) and asked her to arrange to get the cats out of EA. Next I phoned Siv, the PR at Coastal Aviation and provisionally booked a flight on the charter airlines.
The cats are always very inquisitive when I bring their travel cages out of storage. Can you believe that they had their booster inoculations on the 6th of January?
What followed then was two weeks and two days of intense concentration to arrange the paperwork, e-mails, telephone calls, veterinary health certificates endorsed by the vet and scanned to the SA pet travel agency and the Dar expediters. Finally on Friday 23rd January every i was dotted and every t was crossed. All that remained was for me to confirm my flight on the charter plane with the cats as my luggage and get onto it!
You have to experience this to believe how involved it is to get the cats moved from one country to another!
The travel cages with cats inside, waiting to be loaded onto the 12 seater plane
The three cats in the luggage compartment of the small plane. From left: Ginger, Ambrose and Shadow
As I post this, all three the cats are in a friend's kennels near the Bloemfontein airport. Grant and I will pick them up on our way home tomorrow afternoon. More about their travels soon.
Meanwhile, I'm catching up on blogger while on the hotel WiFi. We're sleeping overnight in Dar in a hotel overlooking the harbor. We fly home tomorrow. (I use the term "home" loosely here as it feels as if I've LEFT home in Mwadui! )
Please forgive me, everybody, for not letting on about our changed circumstances until now. I just had to knuckle down and get moving. Apart from the task of getting the cats out, I sold almost everything we owned in Mwadui. Since we knew we were leaving we attended one farewell after the other.
(And that was including the exciting weekend we had when the new trucks were commissioned! )
I'll post all about the emotions, heart-ache, laughter and tears as soon as we're all settled in back in Marquard. (Suffice to say, I broke down proper this morning in the dark when I fondled Princess' ears and patted Nando to say goodbye!
Happy Saturday to you all.