Seems hard to believe it was 12 years ago, still get goose bumps when I think of that day. I was getting ready to leave my house in Scotland for the last time to fly out to start a new life in California. Just me and Darcey Bussell, my precious kitty.
The TV was on in the background and I saw the first plane hit the North Tower – I stopped in my tracks it was surreal and I stood there in disbelief! My first thought was there was a terrible accident, how could that happen. I called my friend immediately to ask if she knew about it and shortly thereafter the next plane crashed. This couldn’t be happening, could it?
The night before I was leaving my friends and I held a ‘last supper’ at my house, a final farewell, for a while anyway…my friends came back the next night and we all sat together crying and trying to understand what happened.
At this point I was now parted from Darcey. She was waiting for me at Heathrow, where she had to go through various vet checks etc. We were flying out on the same plane, which was very important to me. We were both starting a new life together, leaving Glasgow and everything we knew. It was exciting.
There was so much confusion because of what happened and fear too and I wanted some reassurance Darcey was ok and when would we be reunited? I’m only child, my parents died when I was relatively young and I have no children…my cat = my family, all of it. It was impossible to phone anywhere the lines were all busy. Also in those days it wasn’t easy to be put through to someone in the Animal Reception Center at Heathrow and in the circumstances, understandable too.
However, there was no consoling...me I was desperate to know that someone was caring for Darcey personally and she wasn’t being lost or forgotten with everything that was going on. Some very kind person eventually let me speak with Darcey’s animal handler – a lovely lady. She assured me that Darcey was doing great and not to worry…easier said than done, but somewhat a relief!
It took a week to get me on another flight to California, September 18th to be exact. My mom and dad’s wedding anniversary as it happens.
Darcey – she was sent back to Edinburgh, the main animal quarantine base for Scotland.
Alone, I flew to California and set about finding us an apartment. Darcey flew out the next Friday!
I picked up her up at San Diego Freight Terminal. When I walked in, I said to the person at the desk that I was here to pick up my kitty, Darcey Bussell and all I heard was a little ‘meow’ – she was just outside the reception area and heard me!
To say we were both ecstatic is an understatement…back together and heading off on our adventure.
Twelve years on and she is still with me. Our family is bigger, we have Noodle & Pebble and of course, Keith, my fiancé.
I’m getting married in less than a week on a very important day for me September 18, my mom and dad’s wedding anniversary, my 12th anniversary in California and it seemed the perfect date to start this next fantastic phase of my life.
It is so special that Darcey will be there, along with Noodle and Pebble…as we start this next phase of our journey together.
With love and blessings,