Rosie and DarcyBefore I begin, let me tell you that since my last post, I was in contact via Skype with three of my former colleagues. This was great to get fresh news and exchange notes. Don't hesitate to contact me, please... The conversation was different that it used to be at times because we now work for different employers and we are all incredibly respectful of our NDAs. Anyway, the bootstrapping in Calgary continues and it is time to tell you more about traveling with four cats. More precisely, how to book a flight to Canada for four cats. Yes, I have four cats. Why do you look at me funny?

  1. Identify an airline you are comfortable with and who will be accepting cats. Air Canada does not accept cats during the summer. I am guessing that they use natural cryogenics the rest of the year. I picked Continental. They were more expensive but they have a good service in Houston.
  2. Book a flight for the slaves — you know the saying, "dogs have masters and cats have slaves". Of course, the price of the flight increased by 50% since the last time you check two days prior but this is the usual boring story.
  3. Call the Dedicated 24-hour Live Animal Desk
  4. Learn that you need the exact dimension of each of the four kennels before you can make a reservation
  5. Learn that they only ship three animals per flight for Calgary and that the flight you booked already has a four legged passenger in cargo
  6. Be reminded that you will need health certificates from a veterinary dated less than ten days prior to departure
  7. Learn that the cats will need to have three inches of room above their head when standing up. Thankfully, they did not ask about room on the side. My cats are not fat, they are horizontally challenged
  8. Be asked to call once you have the proper information
  9. Sweat a bit
  10. Have your partner shove the biggest fattest cat in one of the kennels and measure
  11. Call your veterinary
  12. Hear that they need to check if they issue international health travel certificates. One month ago they did but they may have change their policy
  13. Wait for the veterinary to call back
  14. Hear that you may need a stamp from Austin before the airline can accept your cats
  15. Collect the kennel dimensions from your partner in crime
  16. Call continental airlines
  17. Answer questions about kennel size, number of pets, each pet weight (this is the embarrassing bit), pets age, address, phone number, etc.
  18. Hold on, anxiously, and for an eternity while they book the flight for you. OK, it was only five minutes but you are a bit anxious after all
  19. Write down the confirmation number
  20. Learn that you are indeed going to travel in the same plane as your cats
  21. Heave a big sigh of relief
  22. Write a blog post about it

I am flying back to Houston on Friday. Movers will be packing our things on Saturday and will be loading the truck on Monday. The cats are visiting the veterinary on Monday (they love this part) and our flight is on Tuesday. We are going to camp in the rented house until our furniture arrives after hopefully clearing customs.

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