It took a while to reach Gibraltar to catch up with black-and-white cat Scooby, as the 10-day Feria de La Linea — a celebration involving fishing, street parades, music, dancing and horse riding — was in full swing.
Scooby travelled with us from the UK to Gibraltar earlier in the year, but now his owners Ryan and Oonagh have the opportunity to live and work in Melbourne, Australia, for a while. So Scooby is off to live with his grandparents.
At Jerez we stopped off at the main railway station to meet up with Antonio and hand his dog India over to him. There were squeals of delight from inside the Animalcouriers van when India heard his voice!
Boots and her daughter Charlotte are relocating from Portugal to the UK and their dog Zora and cat Bonnie are travelling with Animalcouriers. Unfortunately they can’t have Zora and Bonnie at their new home. Luckily, however, these two pets will be living with family as Boots’ sister-in-law owns Woodview Farm Kennels in Suffolk.
Bonnie was originally a feral cat. To make sure the removal company didn’t scare her away, Boots had transferred her to Barking Mad Kennels, run by Heather, a few days earlier. Even so, when we arrived to collect Bonnie, the last thing she fancied was being caught. Once again courier M’s impressive cat-catching skills were put to the test. When we texted Boots to let her know Bonnie was at last safely on board, she replied: “That’s my girl! You wouldn’t believe it but she is a little sweetheart when u know her… Honestly!”
Then it was off to reunite Fanny with her cats Miss and Moby. Fanny told us she’s finding Portugal a very congenial place to live. Her project is to bring tourists to the area. As we left, she mentioned there’s still one more cat to bring over from Canada!
It was a short hop from Lisbon to Cascais to collect mother and daughter Beagles Crunch and Star. These two get on famously and will be great company for each other on the journey. Their grandparents will be waiting to collect them when we reach the UK.
And still in the Lisbon area, we collected ginger-and-white cat Banksy. He’s called Banksy because his owner Tanis found him on a bank. He’s been staying with Louisa at Paradise for Pets, five-star accommodation for dogs and cats in the Manilva area.
The Rock of Gibraltar, in disguise behind ornate archways set up for the feria
Scooby with Ryan and Oonagh
Scooby eyes up the downstairs neighbours…
…then decides he’d rather have a head rub and a neck tickle
India gets a big hug from Antonio — it was hard to say which of them was more excited at being back together
Statue of a loving relationship between a dog and a child at Jerez — the home of sherry
Zora with Charlotte (L) and Boots (R)
Boots discovered calico cat Bonnie living rough in her garden. Over time Boots and Charlotte won Bonnie’s trust to the extent that she agreed to be adopted by them.
Tearful goodbyes for Zora from Charlotte and Boots
Very jolly vans at Barking Mad Kennels in Lagos — they definitely go, but it’s a bit of a bumpy ride! We’ve got to know Heather and the kennels quite well over the past six years or so, as it’s proved a perfect place to drop off and collect pets.
Courier M hands Miss over to Fanny, who admitted that Miss is known for having issues with travel boxes. Apparently the French cattery had been very impressed by courier M’s cat-catching skills!
Fanny with Moby and Miss
Andy, Michele and baby Mia with their dogs Crunch and Star. Andy showed us his dog management skills. Sit, Crunch! Sit, Star! As soon as one bum was on the floor, the other one was up.
Banksy gives courier M a bit of a look