Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Even When You Do Everything “Right” . . .

The most amazing things can happen.

“Just bad joss” says my inner Chinese guru, as I sit for another seven hours in the lounge, waiting for a flight on which I am assured, my cat will also fly.

“Woooo HOOO!” we whopped and hollered and danced around our house with Qatteri Cat when we were told that YES, the flight we had booked had a compressurized baggage compartment, necessary for transporting a cat.

QC was a great sport this morning when I wouldn’t give him any fresh water or food – it’s just a short flight to Doha; he can survive without food and water for this short time. He wasn’t such a great sport about going into his cat cage – that usually means going to the vet, and he struggles and moans loudly, so loudly we were afraid he was going to wake the neighbors.


He quiets down on the drive to the airport. He can hear AdventureMan and I talking quietly, and he is calm. He is calm as we go through the long check in process. We like to travel light; this time we are burdened with bags and bags – one bag just for QC’s food, bowls, blanket, cat litter and babies. AdventureMan has to pay excess baggage, and, of course, cat passage.

From the Gate, I can see him carefully loaded on the plane. AdventureMan and I take our seats, the plane fills, we are beginning to breathe easy . . .

And then . . .

Everything changes.

The customer service rep is in front of us; the gates are closing, Qatteri Cat is being offloaded because the compartment is NOT pressurized – or something. The story shifts. AdventureMan talks with the CSR, he talks with the captain – in Arabic – and nothing works. They say they will fly QC to us on the later flight.

QC has had nothing to eat or drink. Now, he has to remain confined in his cage for seven more hours, no food, no water, on the chance he will make it on the plane later in the day. No. I tell AdventureMan “You go ahead, I will stay here with QC to make sure he gets on the later flight.” AdventureMan likes that idea. He will get the cat litter set up and meet us at the plane.

No, they will not allow the Qatteri Cat in the lounge with me, no matter how nice I am, no matter how concerned I am, even when I get a little angry, no, he has to wait in Lost and Found. That just breaks my heart.

They are being as nice and helpful as they can be – considering they screwed up, right up to the last minute we thought everything was OK and it wasn’t. We don’t even know what the real reason is, but meanwhile, I am sitting here steamed in the lounge – no, the A/C is working overtime, I am just royally annoyed that we did so much forward planning, and all for naught, AAARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!

I feel so sorry for the Qatteri Cat (whose real name is Pete, by the way.)

This is the same airlines – a really good airline – that lost my bag for three days last year when I flew to Doha, during a time when I had a whole weekend full of social things, and I had to wear my same clothes to all the things – I didn’t even have time to go to the stores and buy anything, I just had to buy what I could in the hotel gift shop.

It makes me wonder if I just have bad karma on this airline? I don’t want to complain too much, because what if it were a protection? What if some other airline might have transported Pete without thinking about pressurization and what if he had been badly hurt, or died or something? There’s a part of me that knows this might have been a good thing, it’s just hard to see it now. It’s hard to see clearly when you are feeling angry.

One good thing in all this is that AdventureMan gets to handle all those bags and get the cat litter set up and cat food out and then come pick up the Pete and me when we arrive.

There he goes:

Bye, AdventureMan. See you in Doha, Insh’allah . . .

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Moving, Qatar, Travel | | 12 Comments