Filipos en route – Credit Thompson Pet Transport Ltd
I frantically picked up the phone and tried to call Natalie and Linda, but got no reply despite repeated attempts. Eventually, I gave up and sent an e-mail, though I always prefer to discuss anything tricky over the phone.
A little while later, my phone rang. It was Linda. They had changed their phone number and forgotten to tell me. I explained the problem and they were most understanding, even refusing my offer to pay for the cancelled hotel reservations. They promised they would be at the pickup point in Maidstone at 7.30am on November 21st with a cat carrier belonging to their cat, Fluffy.
I heard so more from the Courier so had to assume the question of my ID was settled. The days seemed to pass very slowly as I waited for Filipos to arrive. I kept telling Harry, Reuben and Thomas Leo to expect a new friend, though I had no idea if they understood.
On the 17th of November, the Vet, Manos Vorissis collected Filipos from his foster mother, Maria. She told me she was sad to say goodbye. He also collected three more kittens who were travelling to the UK. Missy and Stavros whom he had rescued and Hebe rescued by God’s Little People Cat Rescue who arranged all the adoptions. I believe Missy and Stavros were going to live fairly near the pickup point, while Hebe and Filipos faced another long journey. Hebe to Wales and Filipos to my home in Cheshire.
Maria’s last photo of Filipos after he was placed in his carrier. He has a ball Sofia gave him with him.
Credit Maria Antonopoulou.
The cats were handed over to the Courier and placed in the van. I was sent the photos, which were also posted on God’s Little People Cat Rescue.The poor cats looked so miserable in their cages. I was troubled to see they did not appear to have litter boxes and e mailed the courier, who told me they used pads instead. I doubted fastidious cats would like that very much.
The cats travelling in the vet’s car to board the van to England – Credit – Manos Vorrisis
The next day the cats set off on their long journey. Oddly, I was able to follow the Courier’s Facebook page, but it was blocked in Greece due to some people leaving abusive comments. I shared any news with the rescuers in Greece, who were naturally concerned about their former charges. An older cat travelled with the four kittens. Her markings were near identical to Filipos’ and one photo of her was wrongly labelled as Filipos. For a brief instant, I thought my kitten had grown huge overnight! 12 dogs were also in the van, making the epic journey across nine countries.
The cats preparing to leave, Filipos is on the far left. Credit Manos Vorrisis.
The Courier nicknamed Filipos, Stavros and Missy, the “Ginger Ninjas”, saying they were gymnasts and acrobats since they climbed around their cages. Poor Hebe was rather overwhelmed and didn’t join in the fun.
The first day the cats and dogs left Athens, travelled through Greece, picking up more canine passengers in the North then crossed the border to Bulgaria, then through Romania and on to Hungary where the next update and photos were posted from. The dogs were taken for a walk while the cats were played with and I was sent photos of Filipos. He looked happy enough, but I still hated the thought of him in a cage and hoped and prayed he was not too scared. I wondered, not for the first time, was it fair to subject a kitten to such a long journey? I exchanged many Facebook messages with God’s Little People Cat Rescue the foster mothers, and Hebe’s adopter. We all provided moral support for one another.
Filipos and a travelling companion – credit Thompson Pet Transport Ltd
The next day Filipos, travelled through Austria, Germany, the Netherlands and France then on through the Channel Tunnel. The Couriers checked into a motel in Maidstone late that night. Filipos was finally in the UK.
Filipos en route- Credit Thompson Pet Transport Ltd
Early the next morning, I received a phone call from Linda, to say that Filipos had been handed over to her and Natalie and they now were heading North up the motorway.
All day, I waited on tenterhooks until I got another call at about 3.30 PM. Linda and Natalie had just left the motorway and would be with me within the hour. At last, I would meet my Greek kitten!