Bon Voyage!

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With our entire collective lives packed into four suitcases, two carry-ons (including one cat), a purse, and a laptop bag, we began the great journey across one ocean and several countries. Of course our biggest concern was not whether or not we would make it safely, but whether or not the stubborn ball of fluffy fur we call Bentley would make the voyage.

You see, the airline has very strict rules about carrying pets aboard. Unlike every other carry-on bag in the world that is allowed to weigh more than 6 kg (13.2 lbs), the airline imposes a 6kg weight limit on the cat including the weight of the carrier! Fatso weighed in at 12.5 lbs just three weeks prior to departure! The solution…a strict diet! By the time of departure, he weighed 11.7 lbs and his carrier weighed 1.5 lbs…you do the math!

As if this wasn’t ridiculous enough, we had to have him microchipped and thoroughly checked by the vet before the USDA would brand him ‘Grade A.’ Since his paperwork is only valid for a few days, we wound up overnighting it to the USDA in Richmond for endorsement.

With paperwork and Bentley in-hand, we approached the Air France counter. As if on command, Bentley stood up and turned around inside his carrier to prove that he had plenty of room to move around. Did they weigh him? No. Did they ask to see papers? No. Oh well…Bentley’s coming to Spain!

The flight was like any other with the exception of the not-so-faint smell of vomit coming from the bathroom directly behind us. That’s funny, I thought for sure we booked our tickets on the side of the plane (in the two seater row) away from the bathrooms. Imagine our surprise to be seated in the middle four seats directly in front of the bathrooms and without legroom or underseat room for Bentley. He and we were not happy! Fortunately, Lauren was able to sneak to the bathroom with Bentley a few times during the flight to let him stretch his legs a bit. Barcelona…here we come!

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