Our final passengers, Coco and Pepe, join our UK-bound trip

Animalcouriers stayed near Poitiers last night, and set off this morning to collect Sandra’s cats Coco and Pepe, who’ve been boarding at the Grande Chauffetiere cattery in Leigné les Bois.

Sandra and her cats are relocating from France to the UK to be nearer Sandra’s daughter Kim.

With Sandra’s handsome felines safely on board, we headed for Calais, ready to cross the Channel to the UK.

Coco and Pepe at the cattery

Coco and Pepe at the cattery

Pepe comes in for a close-up when we arrive

Pepe comes in for a close-up when we arrive

A very relaxed Tommy

A very relaxed Tommy

Slinky black Rikki

Slinky black Rikki

Very alert George

Very alert George

Arfa looking autumnal

Arfa looking autumnal

Eight cats and a dog join our UK-bound trip, and Dexter has a bath

After collecting Duchess and Maisie, Animalcouriers continued towards the French border, picking up more passengers along the way.

You may remember the story of Bandit — Christine had left her three cats, Cookie, Molli and Whiskey at a cattery in Javea, but sadly the cattery owner died. Lesley from Kittycare Cattery in Onil collected the cats and took them for microchipping and rabies vaccinations so they could get pet passports. However, Whiskey turned out not to be Whiskey at all, but a clever lookey-likey who’d spotted the opportunity for a new home.

Cat-lover Christine opened her heart to this intrepid stray, named him Bandit and decided to adopt him. Lesley dashed back to collect the real Whiskey, who travelled with Cookie and Molli last month. Now that his passport is ready, Bandit is on his way to join his new family.

Jodie is another cat-lover — while living on Ibiza she befriended a family of five cats — three kittens, their mum, and another young male. Jodie has moved to Wales, and the famous five are now on their way to join her. Jodie’s friend Ana accompanied them on the ferry to Denia, where she was met by Casa Antigua kennels and cattery who looked after them until we arrived.

Further north we picked up Catherine’s beautiful dog Floc in Girona, who’ll be met by Catherine’s daughter Debbie in the UK. From there we continued into France and spent the night near Narbonne.

Our first stop this morning was in Ruffec in the Charente to collect Pushkin. His family have already left for the UK and their neighbours are kindly overseeing Pushkin’s departure.

Then it was off to Rochechouart in the Limousin to collect tabby cat George. His owner, Jenny, has gone on ahead to the UK and George has been waiting for us at Caring Cattery, run by Barbara, an old friend of Animalcouriers. George is an affectionate fellow who greeted us with a ‘scratch my head’ sort of tone in his voice. Jenny was quite concerned about George travelling, but Barbara has reassured her. George himself seems pretty chilled out about the whole business.

Bandit — who could resist that face?

Bandit — who could resist that face?

Fluffy, friendly Floc

Fluffy, friendly Floc

Tanq and Elsa — Elsa is the mum of three cute and playful kittens:

Tanq and Elsa — Elsa is the mum of three cute and playful kittens:

Tortellini…

Tortellini…

…Safi and…

…Safi and…

Hendrix (with Tortellini)

Hendrix (with Tortellini)

Dexter's handsome, colourful head

Dexter’s handsome, colourful head

Dexter's nosh — chopped veg and live worms!

Dexter’s nosh — chopped veg and live worms!

Dexter looking refreshed after a good night's sleep

Dexter looking refreshed after a good night’s sleep

Pushkin, today's addition to our black-and-white cat contingent

Pushkin, today’s addition to our black-and-white cat contingent

This is the view Pushkin has left behind

This is the view Pushkin has left behind

Friendly, chatty George

Friendly, chatty George

Barbara's lovely peaceful cattery at Rochechouart

Barbara’s lovely peaceful cattery at Rochechouart

Flowerpot men keep watch over Barbara's cattery, so we know the cats are always safe and well cared for

Flowerpot men keep watch over Barbara’s cattery, so we know the cats are always safe and well cared for

Because Dexter's eaten today, we were advised to pop him in a shallow bath — here he is in our hotel handbasin

Because Dexter’s eaten today, we were advised to pop him in a shallow bath — here he is in our hotel handbasin

Cats, dogs and a bearded dragon get on board as we drive north through Spain

After breakfasting with a fine view of Gibraltar yesterday, Animalcouriers set off through Spain to collect our UK-bound passengers.

First up was Rikki, a slinky black cat from Sotogrande. Pippa and her husband are going back to the UK. Concerned that this gentle ‘wuss’ of the cat world would be disrupted by the kerfuffle of the move, they’ve arranged for him to go on ahead to stay with Pippa’s sister in Hampshire until their new UK home is ready for him.

Then it was Arfa’s turn. This lovely Staffie is one of our regular passengers. He takes his trips to and from Spain very seriously and has told his owner, Matt, it’s Animalcouriers or he won’t budge! Arfa’s grandparents brought him to us at our regular rendezvous spot outside Aldi. Arfa’s usual compartment was ready and waiting for him, so in he hopped, stopping for a drink of water before lying down for a snooze.

From there we went to pick up Tommy, whose owner Nick had to go back to the UK before Tommy’s passport was ready. So Tommy’s been staying with Sarah and Eliane at La Residencia Canina. We’ve been calling here for more years than we can remember, and it’s a very caring environment for dogs and cats. Tommy is one of four cats whose owners moved away, leaving two behind. Clever Tommy attached himself to Nick and is now off to join him in Devon.

Our next collection was Great Dane puppy Fina in Almeria, who belongs to Perry. Fina has been staying with another old friend of ours, Joan, until she was old enough to get a pet passport and travel to the UK to join Perry.

We then drove on to meet Mateo, who came to settle Almona’s two young cats, Tigre and Hippi, into their travel compartment. Almona and Mateo had four kittens between them but have now split up. Mateo is keeping two, and Almona is taking two with her to the UK.

Our final collection last night took us to Javea to meet a bearded dragon called Dexter who belongs to Marijke’s son. They were struggling to find a way to get Dexter to the UK — until they found Animalcouriers. Marijke brought Dexter to us at our hotel with a supply of chopped veg and live worms which are apparently his favourite.

We stayed last night at the wonderful Hotel Palau Verd, in Denia — a tranquil setting where we and the pets all felt very welcome. We somehow managed to drag ourselves away this morning to meet Belgian Shepherd Duchess and Newfoundland Maisie. These two gentle giants belonged to Billy’s mum, who sadly died a little while ago. Louisa has been taking care of them until they could travel to the UK where they will have a new home with family members.

Pippa brought Rikki to us so she could settle him in for the journey. Here they are having a final cuddle…

Pippa brought Rikki to us so she could settle him in for the journey. Here they are having a final cuddle…

…and a goodbye chat

…and a goodbye chat

Arfa! We are flattered he likes travelling with us so much

Arfa! We are flattered he likes travelling with us so much

Arfa with his grandparents. Check out that blue, blue Spanish sky!

Arfa with his grandparents. Check out that blue, blue Spanish sky!

Sarah with Tommy

Sarah with Tommy

Tommy settles in for the trip — we can see why Nick fell for this handsome fellow

Tommy settles in for the trip — we can see why Nick fell for this handsome fellow

We were keenly observed by this black-and-white cat while collecting Tommy. Sarah told us he's one of several 'resident' cats who've been neutered but can't be handled. So Sarah and Eliane keep an eye on them and feed them.

We were keenly observed by this black-and-white cat while collecting Tommy. Sarah told us he’s one of several ‘resident’ cats who’ve been neutered but can’t be handled. So Sarah and Eliane keep an eye on them and feed them.

Bargain bags of golf balls for sale

Bargain bags of golf balls for sale

Joan with young Fina

Joan with young Fina

Fina is wearing a cone because she has a cut on her elbow which has been treated and stitched.

Fina is wearing a cone because she has a cut on her elbow which has been treated and stitched.

Mateo says a very fond farewell to Hippi who is travelling to the UK with Tigre

Mateo says a very fond farewell to Hippi who is travelling to the UK with Tigre

Tigre, Hippi's travelling companion

Tigre, Hippi’s travelling companion

Marijke says goodbye to bearded dragon Dexter

Marijke says goodbye to bearded dragon Dexter

Courier M with our host Tony at the Hotel Palau Verd in Denia

Courier M with our host Tony at the Hotel Palau Verd in Denia

The atmosphere at the hotel was truly peaceful and the food was excellent — lots of local produce, including locally sourced, sustainable fish; and one of the best tiramisus courier M has ever tasted

The atmosphere at the hotel was truly peaceful and the food was excellent — lots of local produce, including locally sourced, sustainable fish; and one of the best tiramisus courier M has ever tasted

These bright green tiles must have something to do with the name of the hotel

These bright green tiles must have something to do with the name of the hotel

Arfa found it a very relaxing environment

Arfa found it a very relaxing environment

Courier M checking Fina's cut

Courier M checking Fina’s cut

Louisa saying goodbye to Maisie and Duchess — she says she'll miss looking after them

Louisa saying goodbye to Maisie and Duchess — she says she’ll miss looking after them

Maisie on board

Maisie on board

Duchess gives us a grin

Duchess gives us a grin

Mount Montgo, also known as elephant mountain — because it's said to resemble an elephant's head — overlooking Jesus Pobre and the surrounding region in Alicante

Mount Montgo, also known as elephant mountain — because it’s said to resemble an elephant’s head — overlooking Jesus Pobre and the surrounding region in Alicante

Taz and Milo reach Spain; and Felix, Tereco, Oscar and Tucha are reunited

Yesterday was a brilliantly sunny day on the Spanish Costa Brava when Animalcouriers dropped off cute Shidoodle pair Taz and Milo for a short stay at The Dog House kennels in Teulada.

We continued south to Malaga where we met up with Pedro. He took his and Vera’s four cats — Felix, Tereco, Oscar and Tucha — on the last leg of their return journey from the UK to Portugal.

A cheeky look from young Milo

A cheeky look from young Milo

Taz gamely tries out for 'longest tongue'

Taz gamely tries out for ‘longest tongue’

Lesley from The Dog House welcomes Taz and Milo

Lesley from The Dog House welcomes Taz and Milo

All about The Dog House

All about The Dog House

Pedro with Felix and Tucha

Pedro with Felix and Tucha

Tereco and Oscar

Tereco and Oscar

Happy reunions for Edie, Barley, Bob and Sam

When we met up with Ben in Geneva, Edie was so excited to see him that she dashed across the car park and straight into his arms!

From there it was on to Salazac to reunite Siamese cat Barley with his owner Brian. We had to meet Brian outside the village as it’s so quaint and narrow there was no way we could fit our van down its streets.

Then we headed a bit further south and west to the town of Narbonne to deliver Bob to Ruth. In this rugby-mad part of France, Ruth’s partner is lucky enough to work for the Narbonne Rugby Club.

We stayed the night just outside Narbonne, then drove to Caramany, near Perpignan, which is Sam’s new home. It’s something of a sleepy hollow, overlooked by a lovely church and boasting its own wine label. The vendanges were in full swing as we drove through the hills — all done by hand, so we could see hods, buckets and tractors and trailers everywhere. After a quick nose around, Sam reacquainted himself with his special bedroom brought all the way from the UK.

Edie throws herself at Ben…

Edie throws herself at Ben…

…and gives him 'hello' kisses

…and gives him ‘hello’ kisses

Brian delighted to have Barley back

Brian delighted to have Barley back

Barley still chatting away as we left

Barley still chatting away as we left

Salazac's magnificent 11th century church

Salazac’s magnificent 11th century church

Bob with Ruth at their new home smack bang in the middle of Narbonne

Bob with Ruth at their new home smack bang in the middle of Narbonne

Looks like Banksy has been illustrating Narbonne's street signs!

Looks like Banksy has been illustrating Narbonne’s street signs!

The picturesque village of Caramany

The picturesque village of Caramany

Ian points out the finer points of Sam's special bedroom — own front door and favourite basket!

Ian points out the finer points of Sam’s special bedroom — own front door and favourite basket!

Cats, Spaniels and Shidoodles are heading to Europe

Animalcouriers set off today with pets on board bound for Switzerland, France, Spain and Portugal.

Edie is a Kooikerhondje, a small Spaniel-type breed of dog. She’s off to join her owner Ben in Geneva, where he’s taken a production of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado about Nothing’ for a month’s run. Edie tells us she’s very much looking forward to having a look around that fine Swiss city.

Also travelling with us is Clumber Spaniel puppy Bibi. Just 16 weeks old, she was bred by Hilda whose kennels win some of the top awards in the Clumber Spaniel world. Bibi is moving to France to live with Alexandra and Flinders, another Clumber we transported for her a few years ago. Alexandra reckons smart young Bibi will be a great playmate for Flinders.

On board are three cats who are relocating to different parts of southern France. Siamese Barley is moving from Essex to Salazac in the south east. He’s a highly individual character who spends all day chatting and recounting stories. We’ll share any choice snippets as we go along!

Stunning tabby cat Bob is moving with his owner Ruth slightly further south west, to the town of Narbonne, in search of a lifestyle change. Ruth is quite sure that when Bob arrives and gets settled in, he’ll give the new arrangements his wholehearted approval. And shiny black Sam is swapping Stockport for Caramany, near Perpignan, which is even closer to the border with Spain. He likes nothing better than a lovely long head scratch.

Cuddly Shidoodle dogs Taz and Milo belong to Stuart, who’s relocating from London to join his mum in Moraira in Spain.

Our final passengers from the UK are Vera and Pedro’s four cats, who travelled with us last year from Portugal and are now on their way back to the town of Loule. Pedro has gone on ahead, and Vera will join them once she’s finished her psychology degree.

Sweet Edie waits patiently for the off at our Surrey base, surrounded by our grocery shopping for various friends on the continent

Sweet Edie waits patiently for the off at our Surrey base, surrounded by our grocery shopping for various friends on the continent

Edie at Calais this morning…

Edie at Calais this morning…

…very keen to get us to have a look at the special tag on her collar!

…very keen to get us to have a look at the special tag on her collar!

Bibi in the arms of Alexandra

Bibi in the arms of Alexandra

A closer look at pretty Bibi

A closer look at pretty Bibi

Very chatty Siamese cat Barley

Very chatty Siamese cat Barley

Gentle, affectionate Bob

Gentle, affectionate Bob

Handsome, friendly Sam

Handsome, friendly Sam

Blonde Taz, brunette Milo

Blonde Taz, brunette Milo

Taz looking especially blonde in a ray of sunlight

Taz looking especially blonde in a ray of sunlight

Milo showing us his cutest side

Milo showing us his cutest side

Tereco and Felix, two of the family of four cats who are heading back to the Portuguese Algarve

Tereco and Felix, two of the family of four cats who are heading back to the Portuguese Algarve

The other half of the family — this is Oscar; Tucha is hiding completely from sight at the moment. But we know they're all there as big bowls of food keep vanishing!

The other half of the family — this is Oscar; Tucha is hiding completely from sight at the moment. But we know they’re all there as big bowls of food keep vanishing!

We collect our final passenger, Kitty, in Calais

Animalcouriers travelled north through France to Calais, where we collected Kitty who has been adopted by Paul. Or perhaps we should say, Paul has been adopted by Kitty.

It’s something of a love affair — they met while Paul, who is an AA breakdown officer, was working in Bordeaux. Kitty did everything in her power to make sure Paul took her home with him, and it worked! We helped Paul with the pet passport process and suggested a place for her to stay while she waited for her passport to become live.

Kitty in her basket, waiting to get on board

Kitty in her basket, waiting to get on board

Paul sent us this photo of her a few weeks ago — what a charmer!

Paul sent us this photo of her a few weeks ago — what a charmer!

Penelope shows us her winsome side…

Penelope shows us her winsome side…

…and then her playful one!

…and then her playful one!

Mandy, who is blind, and has been adopted by Elisabeth and Andros along with Greek Sheepdog Oscar

Mandy, who is blind, and has been adopted by Elisabeth and Andros along with Greek Sheepdog Oscar

Handsome little Forcy

Handsome little Forcy

Gorgeous First Loki

Gorgeous First Loki

Paul and Anne were waiting to scoop Kitty up the minute we arrived, so thrilled to have her with them at last

Paul and Anne were waiting to scoop Kitty up the minute we arrived, so thrilled to have her with them at last

Kitty all tucked up and ready for the drive to her new home in Devon

Kitty all tucked up and ready for the drive to her new home in Devon

Reunions for Rufus, Athena and Jack; and Sam and Sky are on board

Dogs often find a visit to the vet quite stressful, but it was the opposite for black Labrador Rufus. He travelled with Animalcouriers from Portugal to Scarborough where he was reunited with his owner, Ana, at the vet clinic where she is a nurse. As you can imagine, Rufus was both surprised and delighted to see Ana. And needless to say, all the clinic staff made a huge fuss of him.

From there we continued to Belsay, near Newcastle, to drop cats Athena and Jack at the family’s new home, a lovely farm cottage deep in the country. Athena and Jack will doubtless settle into the lifestyle of country cats very quickly.

Then it was off to collect handsome 14-years-young black cat Sam in Stockport. He’s moving with his devoted owners to a new home in the hills near Perpignan in France. To spare him the stress of the removal men, he’ll homeboard with Animalcouriers for a few days while his old house is packed up, and will then travel with us to France in early October, where his new home will be all ready for him.

Our final collection was eight-month-old Malamute Sky. He’s grown too large for his owner’s home, standing nearly a metre high at the shoulder. So she made the brave and wise decision to let her beloved dog move to live with her parents, who have a lovely big garden and lots of time to spend with him and to continue his training. And of course, plenty of opportunities for frequent visits!

Rufus reunited with Ana — a great reason to visit the vet

Rufus reunited with Ana — a great reason to visit the vet

Fiona and all the family were delighted to see Athena and Jack

Fiona and all the family were delighted to see Athena and Jack

Sam is a gregarious fellow with a wonderful purr, who loves to be lightly stroked along his back

Sam is a gregarious fellow with a wonderful purr, who loves to be lightly stroked along his back

Sam travels with a supply of his favourite sardines in tomato sauce. He was recently put on a fish-only diet but has been known to pop next door and help himself to the neighbour cat's meaty feasts!

Sam travels with a supply of his favourite sardines in tomato sauce. He was recently put on a fish-only diet but has been known to pop next door and help himself to the neighbour cat’s meaty feasts!

Sky en route to his new home with his grandparents

Sky en route to his new home with his grandparents

Meet our latest passengers: First Loki the cat, and Spinone puppies Fanny and Robin

Animalcouriers met up with Giuliano in Rome to collect his daughter’s cat, First Loki. Lara is living and working in London, and now First Loki is off to join her. We really enjoyed meeting Giuliano, who was interesting and good fun to talk to. He insisted on handing First Loki to us personally, and had a quick chat with all the other pets on board before kissing First Loki goodbye.

Then it was on to Pucci to collect gorgeous four-month-old Spinone puppies Fanny and Robin. Originally bred as gun dogs, Spinones are loyal, friendly and alert dogs with a gentle and affectionate temperament. These two bundles of fur and legs are on their way to Tracey and Tina in the UK.

Giuliano makes sure his daughter's beautiful cat, First Loki, gets a proper send-off

Giuliano makes sure his daughter’s beautiful cat, First Loki, gets a proper send-off

Fanny (red) and Robin (brown) are eagerly awaited in the UK by Tracey and Tina respectively

Fanny (red) and Robin (brown) are eagerly awaited in the UK by Tracey and Tina respectively

The two puppies enjoy a stroll

The two puppies enjoy a stroll

Robin comes up for a cuddle

Robin comes up for a cuddle

Fanny gives us a cute look

Fanny gives us a cute look

We found ourselves in the cyclamen-growing area of italy — wonderful bright reds, magentas and pinks, offset by white

We found ourselves in the cyclamen-growing area of italy — wonderful bright reds, magentas and pinks, offset by white

We enjoyed home-made desserts including pistachio, white chocolate, chocolate from South America and nuts at Bislakko in Milan. We received a warm welcome and were able to park our van safely in the garden behind electronic gates.

We enjoyed home-made desserts including pistachio, white chocolate, chocolate from South America and nuts at Bislakko in Milan. We received a warm welcome and were able to park our van safely in the garden behind electronic gates.

Oscar showing off his Pointer background. He was a little travel sick at first but is completely over it now, very chilled out and waggy tailed.

Oscar showing off his Pointer background. He was a little travel sick at first but is completely over it now, very chilled out and waggy tailed.

Daisy and Annie catch sight of each other's reflection — they had a quick bark but soon got over it

Daisy and Annie catch sight of each other’s reflection — they had a quick bark but soon got over it

Stratis looking particularly handsome

Stratis looking particularly handsome

Darius tries out for 'longest tongue'

Darius tries out for ‘longest tongue’

Suzana, who weighs all of four kilos, was described to us by Papa as he handed her over as being 'for security'. For a couple of days we struggled to get near her as she seemed determined to eat us! Finally, armed with a jar of frankfurter sausages and various protective coverings, courier M managed to clip a couple of leads on her and get her out on to the grass — where she was transformed from a howling banshee to a cute and curious little dog.

Suzana, who weighs all of four kilos, was described to us by Papa as he handed her over as being ‘for security’. For a couple of days we struggled to get near her as she seemed determined to eat us! Finally, armed with a jar of frankfurter sausages and various protective coverings, courier M managed to clip a couple of leads on her and get her out on to the grass — where she was transformed from a howling banshee to a cute and curious little dog.

Suzana's transformation complete, she now climbs into courier M's arms and has joined the 'walk me first' chorus!

Suzana’s transformation complete, she now climbs into courier M’s arms and has joined the ‘walk me first’ chorus!

Jedy, Belinha, Peewee, Athena, Jack, Tico, Tica, Roxy, Casper and Rufus are UK bound

Animalcouriers collected darling Golden Retriever Jedy, a very dignified gent at 14 years young. He’s a little frail and not really up for frisky walks, but he loves a gentle amble in the sunshine or a lie-down on the grass in the shade. Understandably his owners are very keen to be reunited with him.

When we picked up Maria’s two cats, Belinha and Peewee, we were given a short lesson in Portuguese to ensure we could pronounce their names and communicate with them. Maria’s mum has been taking great care of these two while Maria relocated to London for work and found accommodation that could take the cats.

‎Fiona’s cats, Athena and Jack, are travelling with us from the Portuguese Algarve to Newcastle, as Fiona is moving back to England. Athena nearly missed the trip as she decided to go walkabout just before we arrived. Fortunately she was found asleep in the grass in the fields behind the house. We gather this isn’t Athena’s first attempt at ‘the great escape’. When she was taken to the vet for her rabies vaccination, she escaped from her cat box in the car park and was missing for several days. The vet was several miles from the family’s fairly new house, and they had almost given up all hope when Athena managed to find her way home.

Pekingese pair Roxy and Casper are becoming seasoned travellers with Animalcouriers as their owner, Pedro, splits his time between Tavira in Portugal and London. When we arrived to collect these bundles of fun, they were very excited to see us, and immediately wanted to play and run around.

Veterinary nurse Ana has moved from Portugal to Scarborough, for work, and is delighted that her black Labrador Rufus can join her now she’s settled in to her new English home. He’s a dog who loves to chat whenever he fancies a walk or a cuddle, and we can understand that Ana has been missing him very much.

Cats Tica and Tico with their amazing blue eyes are moving with their owners from Porto to Worthing. These two cats are full of character as well as stunning good looks.

Lovely gentle Jedy, our senior passenger

Lovely gentle Jedy, our senior passenger

 

Peewee and Belinha — a very chilled out pair

Peewee and Belinha — a very chilled out pair

Athena and Jack — the whole family is looking forward to being reunited

Athena and Jack — the whole family is looking forward to being reunited

Gorgeous Tica is travelling with…

Gorgeous Tica is travelling with…

…the equally gorgeous Tico — love the toning cushion!

…the equally gorgeous Tico — love the toning cushion!

Cheeky Roxy…

Cheeky Roxy…

…and travel companion, the equally cheeky Casper

…and travel companion, the equally cheeky Casper

Rufus, who has been on his best behaviour

Rufus, who has been on his best behaviour

It was an early start in Spain but we had the pleasure of watching the sun rise over the mountains

It was an early start in Spain but we had the pleasure of watching the sun rise over the mountains