329: Take The Cat OUT Of The Box !!!

~Last Day In Spain~

What a day !  A loooong day !  A day of ups, downs, no-no-no-no’s and by the time my NIKI airline Airbus A321-211 took off from Malaga, Spain for Vienna, Austria I was wacko, totally stressed out and a gibbering idiot  (no change there then !).  

And it all began so well !

~Take it ALL out !~

I got up at 6am, did the final packing, bedding put away under the bed, everything ready for the removals van arriving at 8am with five friends to load the vehicle. A totally international crowd, two Belgians, one French man, two Englishmen, and the Russian speaking Ukrainian driver from Poland.  65 items were loaded onto the van, and before I knew it someone suggested that the bed was to be emptied …. blankets and sheets put into plastic bags and the hinges removed.  At the same time a cupboard with all my electronics was also emptied.  Everything I had beautifully packed was scattered everywhere.  I began to panic.  Two hours later, all packed, the vehicle left Spain for Austria. 

The actual removals van

~Cat Carrier fell to pieces~

After sitting around in a totally empty apartment for a few hours with two cats saying, “What the hell is going on ?” Thierry arrived to help put Samantha and Sonic in their carriers.  Samantha was easy, really easy, whereas Sonic !!!  He really stressed us out by escaping capture.  Eventually he was contained in his carrier and taken out to the car.  On carrying Samantha downstairs, the front of the carrier fell off and Samantha luckily ran upstairs, where I picked her up and put her back in the repaired carrier. 

Thierry had the brilliant idea of buying tape to repair the carriers.  The carriers looked beautiful on Amazon, but were totally useless for transportation. Thank heavens they didn’t fall to pieces in the huge Departures Hall at Malaga airport. 

These cat carriers look nice, but fall to bits easily

~Take the cat OUT of the box !~

I checked myself and the cats in and was told to go to the airline office to process the cats.  Because the aircraft was late arriving I had to wait an hour. The girl told me to take the cats to check-in 265 where a Spanish security guard told me to take the cats out of the boxes and put the carriers through the x-ray machine.  I told him no, no, no, no,no, no !  No way was I going to take Sonic out of the box.  I went back to the office and asked for an animal handler to help me.  After phoning around, there was no such person at the airport.  By then I became a gibbering idiot.  Then suddenly angels appeared in the form of three Ladies from Animal Care España.  They took over completely, trying out different combinations of removing Sonic from the carrier.  In the end they gave up and told the security guard.  He phoned his boss who told him to put the cat and the box through the x-ray machine.  Whew!!!

Similar animal security at Malaga airport, Spain

At the aircraft gate, the ground staff woman put my boarding card into the machine and it flashed up red, not green.  Oh no!  Not another problem!  In fact all she was doing was making sure that I was boarding the aircraft so that the cats could be loaded into the hold.  On entering the aircraft I asked the Stewardess if my cats were on board.  I phoned Natascha to say I was seated, but did not have time to tell her, as the plane was about to take off, that the cats were actually on board with me. Yay !   What a relief when the plane lifted off from the Spanish runway.

~Meanwhile in Austria~

During the 5 weeks we were apart Natascha had been busy getting us a storage unit for my apartment contents as we had not got anywhere to live in Graz as yet. 

Natascha sent me this lovely self made card. 

While I was flying to Vienna, Austria with the cats, Natascha was on a bus from Graz to Vienna.  She checked into the hotel she had booked previously.  A sensible idea as the plane would be landing around midnight. 

She watched us flying on flightradar24

And then she panicked !  The aircraft flew over Vienna airport and kept going north.  With a sigh of relief she watched the plane return and land from a northerly direction. 

Happily she saw the plane land.

~Arriving in Vienna~

Meanwhile I had a mile walk to the baggage claim, picked up my suitcase and Natascha had informed me that the cats should be in a special area, Band 1.  I went there and the cat carriers were on a table with rollers.  The cats were so happy to see me and I walked out into Natascha’s arms.

The cats looked absolutely terrified after such an ordeal of 10 hours. 

~Vienna airport hotel~

We didn’t get much sleep at the hotel, but the cats had a little freedom in the room over night.

The following morning we had to put the cats back into their carriers, but they were hiding underneath the huge bed.  The only way to put them into their carriers was for us to lift up the bed against the wall exposing the cats. 

OMG !!   WHAT A DAY !!!

~A simple train ride to Graz.  What ?~

Of course the train was late departing from Vienna to Graz.  With help from other passengers we got the luggage and the cats on the train. 

An easy ride ?  No !!!   Halfway to Graz everyone had to get off the train, walk to buses, an hour on the bus and back on a train to Graz.  Luckily for us, there were men who helped us with our luggage. 

~Phone when you are 2 hours from Graz~

The removal van arrived on the Monday, two days after we arrived in the hotel in Graz. We asked the driver to notify us when he was a couple of hours from Graz so that we could prepare for his arrival at the storage facility.  No no no no no no !  He sent a text that he was already at the facility which gave us no time for breakfast or coffee. 

The Russian speaking Ukranian driver leaving Graz

We met up with the driver, but we could not find any help to unload the van and move the contents into the unit.  Natascha and the Ukrainian driver were fantastic. They basically moved everything themselves.  The little bit I did drew blood on my leg and destroyed my back.  Oh boy !

My Spanish apartment contents stuffed into the 20sq.m storage unit in Graz

~Hotel in Graz and our future~

At the moment we are staying in a small room in a hotel in Graz.  Hopefully we will be getting an apartment tomorrow, Monday.  Also tomorrow we are visiting the British Consulate for me to sign an affidavit saying that I am free to marry.  With this piece of paper we will go to the registry office and book a day for our wedding, then back to the Consulate with the date.

We are all exhausted ……

Sonic & Samantha

…… so GOOD NIGHT !!!

Samantha
Sonic in bed, asleep with Ralph

Do you want to read more ?

I have no idea what is coming next for Natascha, myself and the cats.  Watch this space !

Ralph xox ❤

46 Comments on “329: Take The Cat OUT Of The Box !!!

  1. I am glad to see you are all together even with the stressful traveling and moving. I can completely understand how Sonic and Samantha could be the worst for them. This must be completely exotic experiences for them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s really lovely for all of us to finally be together YC. Samantha & Sonic are now happy in the hotel. Murli will join us when we move to the apartment as the hotel room is too small for 2 humans and 3 cats.
      Take care. Ralph 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hope you feel better , and both of you can sleep enough …then life really begins. Don’t rush things, take it easy, both of you! Enjoy the togetherness. Hugs to you both!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Ute,
      Thank you for your lovely comment my friend. Still lots happening here which will fill my next post. Typical UK weather here in Graz …….. almost constantly raining !!!
      Big hug. Ralph xox ❤

      Like

      • Haha, no more need for ac unit. Welcome to the less hotter part of Europe. At least you don’t need to sweat 😅… Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What an ordeal! The poor cats. Okay, poor you, too! At least everyone is together now. I hope you & Natascha find a fab apartment.
    Now, I can hardly wait for the post where Sonic, Samantha and Murli meet! (hope I got Natascha’s cat’s name right!)
    Yahoo!!! kisses and hugs to all! xoxoxoxoxo

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello dear Resa,
      Yep, it was surely an ordeal and not finished yet ! Murli will meet Samantha & Sonic in our new apartment where Natascha will take about 7,500 photos of them.
      Google !!! Hugs and kisses for you, Jeep & Johnny dear friend ❤ #< xxooxxoo

      Like

  4. Thank goodness you, the cats and your belongings arrived without further cat-astrophes! 😀
    Wishing you both and the cats all the best in your new house! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ralph, what an ordeal with such an arduous journey…no wonder you’re exhausted but wow, you did it! You’re now together and with all three cats too! Poor Sonic, I’m not surprised he struggled with the carrier. This is the start of a new future together … warmest wishes to you and Natscha and hope you have a smooth move into your new apartment. Yours is still the most extraordinary wonderful romance that has moved across to the real world that I’ve heard of…so happy and excited for you both! 😀❤️ Ps. I like the new tag line and appearance to your blog banner.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. all i can say is that i’m very glad that you all made it, safe and sound, though a bit worse for wear. relax and enjoy for a bit before you take on your next move, and let your body and mind reset. you got through this, the rest of your life will be easy!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you Ralph for letting us follow you on your journey with pictures and your usual humour filled tale. Such a big event in life is bound to be tough without the experience of airports and trains………

    Now you two are together. Sleep! Laugh! Eat! Rest! You have done it, you are together. Magic, it really is. Soon a flat will come up and you will get married but remember to be good to yourselves.

    Love and hugs to you and Natasha
    miriam

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Golly, this was a rough trip, Ralph! I would’ve lost it the moment the cat carriers broke. Let’s hope things get better now. Hoping you and Natascha can relax and breathe and have some fun. Wishing you both all the best! XOX

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I am glad to hear that the moving travel went well, especially for your cats, yes you are all tired but then everything will be fine. Best Wishes for you ALL. Thanks and Love, nia

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Yaaaaay! You made it!!! All three of you … may you have lots of time to sleep and dream and recover.

    I was completely knackered for a week after my 16 hour flight from Sydney Australia to Vancouver Canada, and I was a mere pup of 45 at the time, so I have nothing but admiration for you getting through your adventure. Bravo! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow! Can’t wait for the next chapter.
    I hope everything starts to settle and fall into place for you and your new life. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You certainly have had an exciting time. It seems travel is never easy, but you and Natascha are together now and everything else is “small stuff.” I hope all the paperwork for your future endeavors goes easily. Blessing on you both!
    With love from your wifi,
    Linda

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Awww the trauma of the journey was clearly worth it all in the end and you look so peaceful snoozing. Good luck with the flat hunt – I hope you’re managing to get settled in very soon.. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Good to see you finally settled. The photo of you with the cat under the same blanket looks so lovable. My son used to do that. I wish you the best for the coming years with your love!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. OMGGGGGGGGGGGG what a nightmare! I feel for you Ralphie! Traveling is so hard these days everywhere, never mind traveling with cats! Gosh I’m glad you made it in one piece! Now breathe! And of course I await the next episode. I want to hear you’ve landed in a new home. Take care, and stop lifting heavy stuff. You’re not 30 anymore! ❤ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Pingback: The Weekly Headlines – My Daily Musing

  17. Oh, dear Ralph, I’m so glad that you, Samantha, and Sonic made it safely, if not rather rattled to Austria! The worst is over. Now it should be all fun, exciting and new things to plan and do like finding your and Natasha’s new home and planning your wedding!
    Congratulations and continued best wishes always.
    Amanda ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I echo the sentiments of all… Phew; what an ordeal..
    Hopefully, now, Ralph, you are all safe and sound and settling in. Looking forward to your next write… 🙂
    xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Great to see the update! And that everyone appears to have made it safely!!
    Savor and enjoy my friend 8)8)

    Like

  20. Phew!!! What an adventure for all of you! But now you are in each other’s arms and that’s what matters. How exciting! I can’t wait for your next post my dear friend! Blessings to you sweet people ❤

    Like

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