Wednesday Morning.... I rise early to get to the car, so we can get to the airport and pick up Lenny!!! finally the day has arrived!!!!!!! it's been soooooooo long, and I am soooooo excited. Lenny flies into Heathrow at 6am, but he takes about 4 hours to clear customs, I call up the customs officials to make sure he is fine and they assure me that he is doing well..
The drive is long, and when we get to the animal quarantine reception area it seems like we have gone back in time to 1980's Coffs Harbour. A family of americans just off the plane are asleep on the seagreen couches that litter the reception area - which is reminiscent of a sundeck that someone grandmother has converted into a loungeroom, a shitty 80's television has some crappy talkshow on, and even the ad's look 80's.. I swear I am in a timewarp.
The Americans nap and patiently wait for their animals to be released, it looks like they have been here for hours. We settle into a corner of the plastic green couches and wait patiently for Lenny. Every time the door to the customs area opens everyone jumps up and looks at the door with baited breath. 99% of the time it is a false alarm, staff come out and go to the 80's vending machine, someone runs past with papers, animal handlers run past with leads.... no cats though.
Finally a lady comes out for me to sign the release forms for Lenny!!!! it is exciting.. but then we settle in for more waiting around as they go back inside and get lenny ready for us. I stare at the door and burn holes through it. Eventually someone comes out and Lenny is in the room with us again for the first time in 7 months. It's an emotional moment. I thank the lady and grab my cat and run with him to the car so we can get him home as soon as possible.
Lenny looks really harassed, exactly like someone who had been on a flight from Sydney to Heathrow would look. He is in a daze and isn't very responsive at first - then he spies us through the grates of his cage and starts meowing - so at least I know he is conversational as per usual.
When we get Lenny home - he jumps straight out of the cage and wanders around the house sniffing things, and being a lot better behaved than I thought he would be - he is in a state though - having been in a cage for 24 hours he is whiffy and needs a good bath, and I surmise that now is as good a time as ever and we give him a good wash so that when he climbs into bed with us later tonight he smells like pantene and not cagey cat wee. Lenny doesn't seem to mind, and purrs the whole time whilst I cradle him in my arms and dry him off.
Now he wont leave us alone and follows us all around the apartment: the whole 2 rooms. We are like "yes lenman, there is this room, or the other room - there isn't a lot to choose from..." he seems freaked out by the floorboards and prefers to stay on the carpet.
I only had an hour to hang out with him before I had to come into work, but this weekend will be nothing but hanging with lenny - sleeping in my nook. Yay.