Going Home – 21 boxes

We packed all our belongings: 21 boxes, 300 kg ready to be shipped to Italy. Now just the original furniture provided by the Compound is left and Villa 23 doesn’t look as cozy and familiar as we were used to. Melinda and Augustina are excited by all the movement and changes but at the end of this day they fall exhausted just like us!


Just one task was left for the next three days: go somewhere at the  airport and obtain  the export permit for our cats from the official airport veterinary. The rule is easy: no export permit = no cats to Europe. Khalas. The office of the Airport Vet is in a mysterious location, rigorously uncharted, for which only vague indications exist and picturesque landmarks must be used. I’ve been lucky enough to receive rather accurate indications from an expat and then did a good job reaching a proximity point close enough to the right group of buildings. After that I surrendered to the Saudi hospitality of the Security guards: one of them escorted me to the office of the doctor, at that point things became a piece of cake and Melinda + Augustina were grant a future with us in Italy. We still didn’t know what a nightmare trip was waiting for us.

Our last three days at the compound ran smooth and we had a good time greeting our friends till the day of our departure came quickly: bye-bye Saken, hello Tuscany!


The Trip

We spent the last three years travelling to and from Saudi: we never experienced a single issue, delay, inconvenient. We paid our debt with the fate because everything converged onto this last trip: super-long crowd at the airport, Augustina became furious and literally destroyed the door of her cage (we fixed it with some wire but the risk of getting blocked at the airport in Germany was HUGE at that point if only the authorities had to object anything about the integrity of the cage…), Marta’s fingerprints somehow went missing from the Saudi Border systems and so the authorities sent us to an office crowded with more than 15 people in our same conditions…. all this just 10 minutes before the scheduled boarding time. A few other minor issues on the airplane such as crying babies sitting near to us, completed the panorama: Marta’s face below tells the story of the trip.



The hours pass and home gets closer, the last flight runs much smoother and we even manage to sleep. Landed in Rome just the time for a cappuccino (oh yes!!) and we are on the road to Follonica!!


Home sweet home!!

There we are! Almost 20 hours after leaving Saken we enter our house in Italy: open the cages and notice how our cats are just as happy as we are, even if for them is the very first time in their new home!



Mission completed: now it’s time to celebrate the start of this short vacation, recharge our batteries and get ready for the next move!




  1. Great story and photos….enjoy home !!


  2. tygus says:

    Moving house is always a pain, especially when you have to cross international borders to do it. Happy to hear all 4 of you made it to Italy OK! Best regards to you, Marta, and the jet-setting cats!


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