I then loaded everything into the car and headed for the moving company's warehouse, where they would then load my car into the remaining space in the container that they had taken from my apartment the day before. The car had to be dropped off early to meet the customs schedule, etc., but I now had nearly 6 hours left before my plane would leave. The woman who was coordinating it all was kind enough to then squeeze me, the suitcases and the cat carriers into her little car and drop us off at Seatac.
When we arrived at the airport, she helped me get everything onto 2 of those smartcarts and I then sat and waited. I was apparently a very entertaining site in the airport as I sat there with my carts full of cats. I had tons of visitors stop by inquiring as to where I was headed and why so much stuff! Following are some photos I snapped at the time:
Oscar and Coal on top, Mr. Pete on the bottom
A closer shot of Mr. Pete, the 20 lb. wonder cat
Oscar, with Coal hiding out behind him
It was about 2 hours into our wait when Oscar just couldn't hold it anymore and proceeded to pee inside their shared carrier. I couldn't bear to leave them like that so I then proceeded to attempt to wheel two smartcarts from the place we had parked ourselves, all the way across the upper level of the ticketing area, to a restroom. Thankfully there was a HUGE handicapped toilet, big enough to wheel both carts into. And then, without actually removing the cats for fear they would dart off into the airport, I did the best that I could to dry out their cage and make their journey as comfortable as possible. Poor, terrified Coal!
Eventually, after several hours, I made my way to the SAS check-in counter and decided I would just park myself at the front of the line and wait for the first agent to appear. At 3pm, SAS opened check-in and thankfully, upon site of me, the agent didn't have a heart attack or run screaming out of the building. She kindly checked me in, took my payment for all the cats, and was very sweet to not charge me extra for my overweight suitcases. I'm pretty sure she felt sorry for me having to pay so much for each cat, and I think she was entertained as well. After we made all the arrangements, she then asked me if I would like the cats to stay with me until it was closer to flight time - call me a bad mommy but I said.. 'nope, they're yours now!'.
Next stop, cat check security! I had given up my bags but I now had to be escorted over to a special security area where they would check to make sure I wasn't smuggling anything with the cats. The officer put on these big rubber gloves, which I told him was probably a good idea, considering the pee and all that. I had to be present in case they needed me to actually remove the cat from the cage while they checked it out. For Oscar and Coal, and for Squirt, he was able to check the cages without their removal. But, for Mr. Pete, on the other hand, well, my big guy had to come out. When I pulled out Mr. Pete he clung to his bed .. so there I was holding him up while he hung onto the bed that had been lining the bottom of his cage, which lead the officer to thank Mr. Pete for making the job easier!
Now the cats were in the hands of the SAS and I was able to get myself to the gate. As I sat at the gate, several people asked me.. "aren't you the one with all the cats?" - I had been at the airport so long, and so noticeably, that I was suddenly some kind of cat lady celebrity. Ahh, my greatest ambition achieved ;).
As I was boarding, I heard the agent on the radio confirming the cats on board, and we were all officially on our way....