We landed in Paris mid-morning, picked up our luggage (fyi-staples don’t hold duffel bags together) and turned in our USDA certified paperwork to collect Felix. Despite the care we took to follow the French government’s requirements for bringing a cat into the country, no one really wanted to see the paperwork, much less keep a copy of it; but we’re certain if we didn’t have it, we would have been detained at customs and (mon dieu!) Felix might have been deported!
Felix was brought up in a freight elevator (this all makes him sound like giganto-cat, doesn’t it?) and expressed his extreme disgust by meowing loudly…louder than we’ve ever heard him before. The handle on his carrier was broken, but his collar with his new home address (La Jonction, Salleles d’Aude) was placed inside with him.
We put our cat, 2 large duffel bags, 2 suitcases and 4 carry-on’s on 2 carts ($4 at SFO but provided for no charge at CDG) and found our way to the hotel shuttle. Based on the advice of the animal transport company we were working with, to make the journey easier on Felix, we had made reservations at nearby hotel for the night…so yes, dear friends & family, the old saying is true…dogs have owners, cats have staff.
We checked into the Kyriad in Roissey-en-France and let Felix out of his carrier to explore the French hotel room while we dined on a cheese platter and a bottle of rose from the restaurant downstairs. There is absolutely nothing that can compare to stinky French cheese….how it can smell so bad and taste so good is one of life’s mysteries. After lunch (dejeuner), we all settled in for a nap – Felix under the bed; Craig and I on top of it.
Later on, Felix seemed comfortable enough in his new surroundings (athough after moving from a 1800 SF house to a 500 SF hotel suite to a 200 SF hotel room, he must have been wondering how small his next digs would be) so we decided to walk into town and have a light dinner (diner). Except for it’s proximity to CDG and the resultant plane noise, Roissey-en-France is a delightful little village with a large park, flowers blooming everywhere and lots of restaurants. Since we were looking for “al fresco” dining, we decided on a creperie with outdoor tables. As we sat down, the two gentlemen at the table next to us assured us that we wouldn’t be unhappy with our choice. They were Americans working for a private jet company; they’d been in Paris for a few days while their client took care of business. After an excellent meal (goat cheese salad, ham & egg crepe, crepes suzette, & a pichet of rose wine) and a very pleasant conversation with the “flight crew” (as they called themselves), we headed back to the hotel around 10:30 pm just as it was starting to get dark
Felix came out from under the bed and we all settled down for a good night’s sleep.