The busiest day

7 September 2005

As long as you are on the road before 6:45 AM, you are ahead of the traffic jams. A rule I knew.
But that -in the meantime of a couple of years- proved to be obsolete data. Far before I entered the always troubling tunnels, I was trapped already.

The sun rose. The weather forecast was 28 degrees Celsius and it was quite hot right away.
The radiator of our old VW Golf had been broken for a while and the hot weather in combination with the slowly moving traffic is a terrific way to produce an engine overheating.
A proven way to prevent this -or at least reduce the chance, is to put the heater on full power, so the engine can lose somewhat of his heat. So I did. And I was sweating like a pig, but worse was that poor Pini in her cage; she was panting like a dog.

The traffic had now totally stopped moving and I realized I never could meet the arrival time I agreed with the animal transporter. I phoned him to warn him. And half an hour later I phoned him again to report that I was finally freed from the traffic jam. I could be there in 10 minutes. He was very pleased by this news, but unfortunately he also had to tell me that The Big Check to get animals through customs, was now closed …
It was not his idea, but the decision of the RVV (the umbrella organization of Cattle Overseas). Anyway, he said it would be nice if I still came as well, but there was no need to hurry anymore.

In the meanwhile Pini was in a state of utter despair, but it didn’t make sense to return her home, because after all she had to be at the airport at some point anyway. Also, the house would be emptied today, so that would be a stressful place to be for her too.
The animal transporter and I agreed that Pini would stay overnight at his company and that she would be checked in just 24 hours later. Furthermore, everything would remain the same.
I took a picture of her, sneakily wiped away a tear and rapidly drove back in my half-boiling car.

On my way back, I suddenly realised the Wednesday/Thursday issue and the problem about arriving in the weekend. Two days ago the animal transporter emphasized that the cat wasn’t allowed to leave on Thursday because then she would arrive on Saturday. If she leaves tomorrow … she will arrive on Saturday! Just like we started this whole thing!

Back at home the truck with the container for the furniture had shown up and the back was parked against the doors of my former gallery. My dad and a friend were helping to fix the heavy job, but it still took four hours before we could close the container.

During the morning my fears about Pini’s departure became reality. It is not possible indeed. “What about next Monday?” asks the animals transporter. My brain worked overtime, because the validity of an important blood test (which process I had started 8 months ago) would expire. What means: no new stamp in Pini’s animal passport. And that stamp is her permission to move to New Zealand.
However, a departure on Monday would yield many more problems than just that stamp. She had to wait another five days at the airport in a room that is not designed for longer stays.
We, her parents … had already left the country by Monday.

At lunch time Frank accompanied the chauffeur of the trailer to guide the cars at the harbor. Early in the evening he returned home by train and reported that … he needs to come back the next morning because the guys for receiving and to leashing the cars … were not present.
Damn!
Tomorrow!
Again just like we started this whole thing!
Oh, and there was no sign of the endlessly stupid girl of course.

Now there were three options for Pini’s problem:

  • A renewed blood test. Which results usually takes a month.
  • I could call the quarantine cattery in Auckland, to ask if they are willing, in exceptional case, to receive a cat on Saturday.
  • Or … ask them please-please-please to accept a blood test that has expired only a very little time.



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