Like a well oiled machine, KAR and Animalcouriers got up this morning and went in various directions to collect the pets for the journey. Courier M and Yulian from KAR went to collect four cats resident at Sandra’s, while Margaret loaded up the dogs in her care, and the kennels looking after Hagi and Tess got ready to meet us at the port of Girne.

Meanwhile, courier J went on ahead to the port to start the booking-in process, the customs paperwork and the police checks.

When she arrived at the window of the Fergun Ferry Company she was greeted by a very nice, apologetic young lady shaking her head.

“Sorry, there is no ferry.”

An amazed courier J demanded to see the company manager. For on Monday she’d called in specially to check that all was okay for today’s boat.

The very embarrassed manager invited courier J into his office for a ‘keep calm’ chai — or perhaps a coffee? he asked hopefully.

Staying ‘calm’ would be easy once she knew that Animalcouriers’ charges would sail today. She asked him what he thought would be a good idea for eight dogs and six cats to do if the boat did not go today. “Do you have an office we can use?” she asked.

After a few phone calls, the manager told courier J:

“You will sail today.”

They had arranged to put us on a special cargo boat to Mersin, and not our usual Tasucu.  “It goes at 14.00 today,” said the manager.

So keeping calm and drinking chai is what we’re doing, while our lovely friend at the customs office welcomes us and shakes our hands and gets going on the first step, the customs paperwork.

Talking about the value of our cats at 20 euros and dogs at 40 euros each seems normal now, as the panic of an hour ago subsides.

And the reason our planned ferry wasn’t sailing? The company manager called the schedules manager who called the bookings manager, the question “why no boat today?” going down the line. Back up the line came the answer: “Not enough booked cars.”

Our friend at the customs office, reassuring as always, as he ploughs through the paperwork