Deadline is approaching

very fast!

I've never done this, so new experience for me, blogged that is. I dont think I really know what a blog is, a way to get something off your chest, an open diary? no doubt some one will explain! I think the later for me, so many people want to know what we are doing, this is , perhaps, a good way to talk to you all at once, as time is of the essence!

A little background? I am English, been in France 10 years, he is French , we have been together 4 years , magic! Dont expect it at my age but it is! So we met at Marmand station and four years on are still happy bunnies. In those four years we seem to have lived as much as some people who are together for twenty! There were the obvious ups and downs with famillies on both sides, kids mainly, although they are all adults(way over 30), but problems with health for our parents culminating in the loss of his parents 3 years ago, 6 weeks apart. Two years ago life got tough and all on the same day OH was diagnosed with throat cancer, my sister with terminal cancer and our 3 year old Belgian shepherd with hepatitis...................not the best day ever! So 2012 was rubbish, 2013 was rubbish! OH is really well now, but my sister died last June, (same day as the dog), we could n't bury her for a month as my bro in law was in hospital being operated on for colon cancer.........Ho Hum!

Before he was sick OH had idea to buy a house in Spain, and hunted on the internet, then it was portugal, we looked at Bulgaria, then the whole thing was forgotten because everyone was sick! Earlier this year he found some of the papers he had printed off, it was raining and he had decided to clean his office(!). So he launched himself into the search again, I was trying to iron and every two minutes it was3Come and look at this" aaaaargh! One was pretty good and cheap cheap. So phone call to estate agent, who speaks English and French, and two weeks, two trips there and back in the camper with all the dogs, it was ours! That was the begining of April, it is now the end of May and the boxes proliferate everywhere, the dust moves from corner to corner, the dogs are confused and the cats are hiding in the boxes.................we move in two weeks!!!!! What are we doing at our age, starting a new adventure like this? we should be playing golf and knitting..........gentling down into tranquillity, oh how I long for tranquillity, well maybe next year??????? So I am off to hoover up the balls of dog hair and clear away the dust so ican gett the next load of boxes filled.

If anyone has any ideas how to move 5 cats 1200K without loosing them or going insane pleas let me know..........!!!

Back in the dark ages, well late 60's early 70's we used to travel to Cornwall from London and then Reading and had to tranquillise our cat ready for the journey, which was arduous then as no M5 or dual carriageway on the A30 and A38 and as for getting stuck behind a convoy of caravans climbing out of Exeter!!! Anyway on one occasion, after finally managing to get the pill into her, we couldn't find the cat even though we knew she was indoors. Wife at the time went to the bedroom on the search and couldn't open the door. The reason, the cat had passed out right behind it. Such fun. She endured this sedation on many occasions and lived to be nearly 20 before she moved on.

the dogs will be fine Theo, they have been to the house with house before and are used to travelling in the camper, it is the cats.....................!!!!

I would never dump them, they are my "babies", if you have animals you have responsibimty. no discussion on that!

What is important Annie is, you take on the responsibilities and don't dump the animals as some people sometimes do! When it comes to a cage, or kennel and you know how large Rotties are, so I needed two cages because nobody would be able to lift the box with them in. So, first time before the two needed to be transported in a plane we made the dogs getting used to their box. And I used a simple trick, gave them half a valium (a tranquilizer) and this was keeping them calm for 8 hours. You just make sure there is always enough water. You may ask the vet, they know and have sedatives. What concerns the dogs, once you arrive don't take them for a walk outside your premises when it has a garden, show them for a week their territory so they get used to their new surroundings and don't have a argument with their new neighbors ;-)

Thanks Theo, we have all the papers, I know it will be dreadful, they will cry I will cry, OH will get ratty!I love the idea of kennels for a week and then threy arrive, but much too expensive for us. We hope to cage them in pairs except for Pip who doesnt know she is a cat and will not tolerate the others near her...........!See Vet saturday, will let you knwo how it goes!!!

Oh Annie thats what's happens as "he had decided to clean his office(!)" Its difficult to say something if you don't say BG or SP. However the cats have to go into a cage for one day. They will be confused, run around, get you confused. Don't forget this animal / vaccination papers / booklet! Good Luck!

Best of luck!

We put our cats into kennels and used professional pet movers when we moved from UK to France - see The cats stayed at the kennels while we packed at one end and unpacked at the other. pet.couriers are based in Spain. We have details of others if that's any use to you.

How kind you all are, to listen to my witterings and try to help and send your good wishes!!thank you.

Annie Jones, cannot help with any cats travel info, in fact with anything to do with cats, but just wanted to wish you and yours all the very best...warm sunny greetings and wishes from Provence :)

That sounds a good plan Shirley!! I actually have a really good reltionship with my vet so I will definately talk to her, I think sooner rather than later so I can stop worrying. We have had a day off today andhad friends to lunch, mixed blessing, lovely to relax, but there is the "is the last time we'll see them" in the back off our heads.............I am lothe to fall into the idea of last swim in the lake, last visit is too sad. thank you for all your kind words on my ramblings, it is a great help to twitter on, itorganises my brain!!!so, visit to vet tomorrow before the dentist..........!

We did actually take advice from the vet and this was what they recommended for us. I would never put MY animals at risk without advice first.

I love stories like yours - thanks for sharing and inspiring :). My mother remarried in her mid-fifties to someone 22 years younger, and they remain happily married 20+ years later.

I agree with a couple of the other comments. Many years ago I flew a cat from Israel to South Africa, sedated, without long-term ill effects. I don't know what emotional effect it might have had if the sedative wore off in the hold, and on arrival he had to go into quarantine for 3 weeks as well, but once we were re-united in a strange new home (for him) he was his old self after 24 hours. I would go with the vet's advice on sedatives, of course, but like Clare, if it was me I would seriously consider that.

I have also taken a cat in a car on a 12-hour drive when moving house, also used the harness for pee stops, and it went well. Like Wendy, my cat had already had a few walks on the harness before the journey, so he was fine with it and we had time to iron out any kinks in the fitting (v NB - we all know how a panicked cat can wriggle its shape out of many things). Oh, and apologies if it's obvious, but I would have only one on a leash at a time, per person, for pee stops. Wishing you all the very best!

By the way could you ask the vet for some advice re tranx etc?

Annie, I loved your blog. Happy things and very very sad things. No advice really on moving cats. We took ours by car on car seat for an 8 hour journey. And, as Wendy mentioned also, we used a harness. Bon courage!

Thanks girls! It si the sedate or not which is worrying me, if it were just one or two we would have them in the camper with us, but there are 5! And so the dogs will be in the camper and the cats in the "boot" which is huge and has a large window, it is usualy the dogs' place. It will be 24 hours by road, and i think you are completely right Wendy it will be us that gets upset by their cries. We will cage them 2 ,2 and 1 but all together in the boot, with feliway and.......Tranx or not? aaaaargh! IT is the only biyt of the move that is worrying me.

Depends on the manner in which they are transported doesn't it, Ours came in the cabin of the plane with us under constant supervision. So I think we would agree to disagree in this one.

I have to disagree Clare, sedating animals in transit is not recommended at all. It used to be, but now there is too much evidence that an animal that has been sedated can either injure itself in transit, or worse, die. Any animal that has been sedated must be supervised and monitored which is not possible when they are travelling. Plus, the effects of a sedative often wear off before the journey's end, causing the animal more distress.

Cats and dogs can travel long distances without any ill effects. It is not pleasant for them (especially air travel), the journey itself can be stressful, but as soon as they reach their destination and are reunited with their humans, everything is fine.

With five cats, if you are taking them by road, I would position their cages so they can see one another, schedule regular stops for watering and try not to let the sad cries upset you. They will be absolutely fine when you get to your new home.

If they are flying, use an airline you can trust and leave it all to them.

Also ask the vet for a light sedative. Sedi pet was used for our cat ,Turkey to France

When we moved our cat from Sri Lanka to France, I got him a small harness and lead so I could take him out of the cage for a pee etc at regular intervals. I put it on him a few times before the big exit so he was used to it and it worked a treat. I felt a fool walking him on the grass at service stations etc and I am sure his dignity was dented too, but at least he was safe and comfortable.

If you need any info on shipping animals, message me.

Good luck!