30th Birthday and travelling with cats

I arrived in the Netherlands half a week ago just in time for everything to start closing down 😦 I’m in Utrecht and all restaurants and coffee shops have closed. The nearest mall is like 90% closed with only a few places still open. I’m glad for that, though I’ve noticed that there are quite a few elderly employees. The supermarkets are thankfully still open. My husband is working from home and is usually on Skype, so he’s taken the desk and chair I scored from an op-shop just a few stores away. I also turned 30 yesterday. Couldn’t really do anything because everything is closed down, but it didn’t matter.

But I’ll tell you what. Getting to the Netherlands with two cats was a nightmare. I managed to get one confirmed for the longest time but not the second one. The KLM helpline was no use because frequently I would be told that wait time would be over 30 minutes and the line would then disconnect. By now, Facebook/Twitter and WhatsApp (I had also sent more messages through there) had gone dark. Things were not boding well. 

By now it was only a few days before takeoff, and I was beyond stressed. I went to the airport directly and spoke to someone. There I found out that I couldn’t get the second cat on because me and Chris were both in the same ‘cabin’ and they allowed only one animal per cabin. So I had to upgrade to business class as it was considered a separate cabin. The kind person who helped me was also on hold with their airline. (FYI, the business section of the plane was nothing special. It just had a divider between economy. Don’t waste your money). I wish I was told that before. (Forget the conversations I initially had on Facebook about cat carrier sizes and been rejected a few times. I ended up lying about the dimensions. No one ended up checking.). 

Anyway, with the charge to my card I went to check-in online it didn’t show the upgrade or the extra cat. So cue more stress. The next day we get to the airport to check-in our luggage and confirm the cats (I don’t think they even looked at the pet passports even though I showed it). But it turned out all was good. And it was only after we got to our new place that I realised that they hadn’t charged us for the pets 🙂 So because of the Coronavirus, we got free pet travel. 

Then days after arriving, I got a response to the messages I left in the three apps that said something about getting back to me when they could.

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