Animalcouriers travelled to the Lauzun area in the Lot-et-Garonne to make a very special collection: Mal and Mike’s 22 cats, one Rosy Lovebird and one Cockatiel.

Mal and Mike are relocating to Lincolnshire after living and in France for many years, where they ran a gรฎte business. They’ve loved every minute of it, but now it’s time to go back to the UK, where family draws them. They’ll miss their lovely local friends, though, several of whom stepped in to help today.

The cats have joined the household over the years, and now that it’s time to leave, not a single one is being left behind.

With so many pets travelling, we couldn’t afford any mistakes or issues with their paperwork. So preparations began several months ago when our good friendย Dr Diana James,ย a British vet in France, did a home visit to meet the cats, microchip them, give them their rabies vaccinations, and organise their passports.

As it’s a big group of pets, we have a Traces certificate for them. Following a health check on Monday, Mal took all the paperwork to the departmental office in Agen, where the certificate was issued.

Given the difficult situation in Calais at the moment, we don’t want to risk getting caught up and delayed. So we’ve chosen to drive to St Malo and take the Condor crossing to Jersey, and from there take the ferry to Poole. The other advantage is that we will be met by the Jersey government vet who will clear the cats for entry into the UK. (This is a Traces requirement.) That will mean there’s no need for a house visit when they reach the mainland.

The cats all have wonderful names. To help us keep track of who's who, Mal sat up all night preparing beautiful hand-made labels for each cat, with photos and a special little notes about each one.

The cats all have wonderful names. To help us keep track of who’s who, Mal sat up all night preparing beautiful hand-made labels for each cat, with photos and a special little notes about each one.

More splendid labels

More splendid labels

Mal and Carina bring us Mozart and Beethoven

Mal and Carina bring us Mozart and Beethoven

Mozart

Mozart

Beethoven

Beethoven

Henry VIII

Henry VIII

Elizabeth I

Elizabeth I

Suzzie

Suzzie

Brandy

Brandy

Soda

Soda

Fleur

Fleur

Donny

Donny

Buster

Buster

Trumpet

Trumpet

Ginger

Ginger

Lou Lou

Lou Lou

Tia Maria

Tia Maria

Muffy and Twizzle

Muffy and Twizzle

Aka

Aka

Elton John

Elton John

Foxy

Foxy

Mischief and Henrietta

Mischief and Henrietta

Jezabelle

Jezabelle

Vanessa with the two birds

Vanessa with the two birds

A very special jug to fill the birds' water bowls!

A very special jug to fill the birds’ water bowls!

Fred the Cockatiel

Fred the Cockatiel

Mal saying goodbye to Rosy Lovebird

Mal saying goodbye to Rosy Lovebird

Everyone settled in for the journey

Everyone settled in for the journey

It took a good couple of hours to get everyone on board. Meet the top team โ€” L to R: Vanessa, who put us up last night, Mal, and Carina. It was a very emotional time for Mal, who is already missing them all and worrying about them.

It took a good couple of hours to get everyone on board. Meet the top team โ€” L to R: Vanessa, who put us up last night, Mal, and Carina. It was a very emotional time for Mal, who is already missing them all and worrying about them.