FLYING SOLO WITH CATS – Part Two (Part 1 HERE)
After leaving AllPets Vet Hospital, Jim and I followed their directions to find a pet-supply store near Quitcentro. We had already checked a pet shop in a mall in north Quito, and the carriers were too small. We searched for a second ‘big store’ that someone predicted would have three ‘kennels’ large enough for the airline requirements.
After a maze of wrong turns and being pointed in different directions by various people along the streets, we found the pet store with the big spotted dog sculpture outside the entrance. The very-nice man showed us one kennel that was large enough for a whopping price of almost 200 dollars. (This was on a Monday.) They only had one but could have three more for us by Thursday. We thanked him and said we would try to find more. He recommended we try a pet store in the nearby Quicentro mall.
Five or so minutes later we reached the shopping mall, and after several trips up and down escalators, out the doors and through an underground parking lot, we found the pet store tucked around a corner at below-ground level! Yes, they had one kennel that would work, and it was not as expensive as the one at the other store. He said that he’d call to see if he could get three more and to come back in five or so minutes. In search of white acrylic paint (for the Angels Trumpet painting) we went up one level to the art-supply store (No white paint!) then returned to the pet store. “Yes, we can get the kennels delivered here today. They will be here after six.”
(Ugh. The drive from Quito to their property in Mindo takes three hours! ) I politely explained and asked if it were possible for us to go to the supplier and pick them up there. He phoned someone and then said they would have them at the store at five. “Yes! Thank you so much! We will return at five!”
Jim wanted to thank the man at the first store and let him know that we found the kennels, so we returned to the spotted-dog store, thanked the guy and then stopped for a much-anticipated mid-afternoon lunch break! The kennels were delivered punctually at 5, and after navigating out of Quito’s rush hour, we were delayed an hour later by an accident on the highway. I think we reached home plate around 11 that night.
Before Jim put all four carriers/kennels together, we returned to Quito two days later with one assembled kennel to be sure it passed airline requirements. We had been told by the very polite United Airlines person, “Go to this office near the traffic circle, and there will be someone there to help you with your questions.”
We went to that office, and a very nice man listened to our request and called ‘Hugo,’ the person in charge of sending pets. He said that Hugo would be there in thirty minutes. We asked if he worked for United, and we were told, ‘No, he works for many companies for sending pets.’ “Please, sit and wait. He’ll be here soon.” (Then that helpful man drove away!) Diego, the guy in charge at that office, walked us to a little store where we bought drinks (and peanuts for me!) and then we returned to the office. We waited for almost an hour, and Diego called Hugo again in our behalf then said that Hugo would be another half hour. He was sending pets for the French Embassy.)
With other errands to run and another three-hour drive back to Mindo, we decided to leave without seeing Hugo.
Diego gave us Hugo’s contact information and this list of required items:
“That’s all?” we asked.
“That’s all,” we were told.
“What about carrier requirements? When do we return with the cats? Where do we bring them? Who do we pay?”
Needing to make that three-hour trip back to Mindo, we left without getting answers!
Stay tuned for part three!