“Come Monday, It’ll Be Alright”…I hope you are right Jimmy Buffet because I need this to work out

July 24, 2020

Below is the story line that my oldest has written about her cat in the last two days. Showing for example of how much my child needs for this cat to make it over safely.

More Pets…but Specifically Sophie

Regarding the pets. The pet shipper was able to get the pets to ship one week up to August 12th. The problem is, we leave August 4th. For the dogs this is not the biggest deal in the world. I am angry about it, but they will be fine (I hope). They will stay with my mom and the pet currier will come pick them up and take them to the scheduled vet appointments that we now have to change because they screwed up the flying dates. Everything with the international pet license has to be in specific time frames leading up to the flight out. Any error and they could be held internationally or even worse, euthanized at one of the borders. We have been vigilant with all of this, even going so far as re-vaccinating all of them and re-chipping two of them who didn’t have chips with long enough numbers. It turns out that we could bring our cat in the cabin with us which is my biggest concern because I can’t leave her at my mom’s. She will hide and disappear and there is no way anyone would get her crated and off to the vets or the airport for that matter.

So, here is where the big dilemma lies: There are already four other pets scheduled to fly in cabin on this flight and Delta will not make an exception. And when we even look at changing our flights, it’s a total nightmare and not an option because of the Covid pandemic. Flights are only filling to 60% capacity and so many are being cancelled, we can’t risk it. They asked me if I wanted to book her to fly freight but honestly, they sold me on only flying pets in freight on Lufthansa because they are the safest and best with pets. I can’t chance my animals arriving dead. Now I have to have my cat with me and it’s totally off the table. I am utterly deflated over all of this and not at all looking forward to this flight, or the travel without having any solid footing for my pets. I keep calling Delta in hopes that one of the people bringing a pet on board cancels their flight. So now it’s all I can think about that I would be able to bring Sophie on board with me had we been smarter and made these arrangements including her with us like I talked about and asked about weeks ago and was told they weren’t allowing pets at this time. It was wrong information and now we are paying heavily for it. I fear Sophie will have a heart attack and die over the flight. If she were with us, we could calm her and she would know she is safe.

No one is remotely as bothered about all of this as I am, but I am so sad and so worried. Actually, my children would be delighted to have their kitty on board with us. For them it would make this first time flying so more comfortable. Hannah is extremely attached to our cat. She would be beyond devastated if something were to happen to the kitty during all of this. She needs to have our cat with us and I do as well.  This is supposed to be the light at the end of a very long tunnel of work to get here, and I don’t feel like celebrating any of it. I have worked like a maniac getting my passport back, which now I see did not actually expire until 2021 so I question the urgency to renew it to begin with. We have to go get a covid test next week and even though none of us are sick, it would be our luck to test positive and then what do we do with that? Traveling during a pandemic has been so incredibly stressful.

Paying a hefty penny to fly all of our animals and have that mess up has been beyond stressful and frustrating and devastating. I can’t even wrap my head around all of this. Having an opportunity to bring our cat on flight with us would take all of the stress out.
Unfortunately, four other people were better at making that happen than we were. We ultimately chose to fly the cat in freight with the other pets because of that terrible vet who said if we didn’t revaccinate her and re-chip her with an international number, they could euthanize her halfway across. We got so caught up in worrying about having all the proper vetting and paper work that we chose to fly her with everyone else so that the pet shippers would be responsible and have all the paper work ready. We added her last into that mix because we at first wanted to keep her with us. Then Scott talked with another airline and they said they were not flying pets in at this time and we did not think to ask or book her with Delta at the time of scheduling because of that. That cost us.

I decided to call the airlines again. Even though they have the four pets already booked I decided to see if we could fly out sooner since nothing was available later. This is what I’ve learned now with both the passports and the pets. If you keep calling and talking to different people, eventually you will find someone that will help you. The second call I made this morning because I called first thing and they couldn’t offer anything and then I called again and hit the jackpot. I ended up talking with a man who tried to get it over written and went to his supervisor. He came back and told me that while they could not change their policy there was one possible action left. If our doctor (pediatrician in this case) would be willing to write that this cat is an emotional support for my child (which she actually very much is) and we fill out several forms, we could put her on the plane as an emotional support pet. Why did I not think of this before? She is actually a support to my oldest child and the stress and agony that we have had in making sure that she was safe and comforted (the cat I mean) this only makes sense. Apparently, even if you have the cabin filled with the allotted number of animals, if there is an emotional support pet or a service animal, those do not count toward the numbers. So, I’ve emailed our pediatrician and will hopefully receive that letter from him on Monday.

Now the second part. In Europe, that does not mean anything and does not hold any sort of seating. I called Air Malta and they are not open on the weekend. I did email them yesterday though and they did email me back suggesting that since the cat is only 7lbs, we should, in fact, fly her with us in cabin at only a 70 Euro fee. Now to know if there is a spot open for such a blessing…

Monday morning first thing I will see if there is space on board for my little Sophie and from there I will make it happen to get her with us on both flights both as a special support cat and as a regular flyer. This eliminates so much stress. With regard to my dogs, they were not able to fly out at the time they were supposed to but they will fly out August 12 instead of the 4th. They will stay with my mother and the pet courier will pick them up for each vet appointment in order to fulfill all of the proper visits and paper work in order to fly out. The pet courier will then pick them up for two vet appointments and then a third to finally pick up to bring them to the airport and load them onto Lufthansa freight flight.
I will write an update on Monday and keep everyone posted on who is flying with us and how it will all unfold. Please keep your fingers crossed and prayers up!

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