We finished packing and moved all our remaining items to storage (despite downsizing three times since January, lots of clothes and shoes couldn’t make it on this trip); put Felix in his huge carrier and drove off to the airport. As we approached SFO, we decided that I’d wait at check-in with Felix while Craig returned the car; then we realized that we didn’t have a clue where to return the rental car. I called for directions; Budget has one of those wonderful voice mail trees that don’t allow you to talk to a real person. The directions sounded somewhat complex so I told Craig that I’d leave the cell phone for him in case he needed to hear the directions again. I left it in the beverage holder next to the rental paperwork. I got a cart and loaded it with Felix, his duffel bag (which is large enough to transport his cat box, cat litter, food, toys & cat tower….I lost precious shoe space so he could live in comfort), my suitcase and two carry-on’s and got in a very LONG line. We hadn’t been able to check-in online and found out that neither had anyone else….perhaps we were on Orange Alert that day??? The line moved slowly and Craig met us before we had moved too far. Unfortunately, the duffel he was carrying (with our clothes & shoes) was ripping at the side and Craig had forgotten the cell phone….the one that has our only US phone #….the phone that normally wouldn’t allow for international calls after changing to a pay-as-you-go plan but might have worked since it already had the appropriate chip in it. Craig said he could make it to Budget and back so off he went. I continued to move forward, now more quickly as take-off time approached. When I got to the front of the line, I had to start letting people go ahead while I waited for Craig. An interminable time passed; everyone had now passed me by and was checked-in. An Air France agent walked toward me and said “Terminee…you will not be on this flight”. I looked up to see Craig standing next to me. Another, kinder, agent called us over, checked us in and stapled our duffel bag back together while Craig took Felix to “baggage check-in” (he was just too heavy for Air France’s cabins). We raced through security and down to our gate as the plane was being boarded. By happenstance, we were able to sit next to each other and settled in for the long flight to Paris….worrying the whole time about how our kitty was doing. Once, I could have sworn I heard him meowing at us…and he didn’t sound happy.