Those darn cats have caused yet another snag in our plans. To be fare it isn’t really their fault that their owners are dummies! We somehow dropped the ball on the correct procedure for the documentation requirements to import animals to Panama. The Certificate of Health document needs to go to the USDA then to the Panamanian Consulate , somehow, on the day we began the process of fulfilling all these requirements we thought(correction, someone told us!) instead of the Panamanian consulate , we could take it to the Secretary of State to be Apostiled. Nope, Wrong information somewhere down the line. OOPS! So remember this document is time sensitive so we had to do it at the last minute so it would be no older than 10 days old, otherwise we would have done it ahead of time just in case we had any crazy mix ups.
So Scott had a very successful trip to the Usda got it embossed and whatever else they had to do to this precious document but the remaining requirement being the Panamanian consulate is the part that is holding us up. There apparently is no Panamanian consulate in Sacramento or San Francisco! UGGG! We got online and the only Consulate that said they dealt with Pet importation was the Washington DC consulate, the LA one did not say anything on their web sight about their ability to deal with it (we should have called and spoken to a human being, hindsight!) so we quickly Fed Exed the Certificate to DC with their assurance that they would turn it around right away, we should have received it by Wed, Thursday at the latest, emphasis on “SHOULD”! You guessed it, No delivery!
The Washington DC Panamanian Consulates office hours (West coast time) is 6:00am to 11:00am! Welcome to Panama! LOL! so I phoned them at 6:00am Friday morning to inquire. I was placed on speaker phone as the gal on the other end shuffled through paper, asking,”how many cat’s?, What’s your Name?, When did you send it?” Blah! Blah! Blah! “OH! Here It is!!” Ahhh Ha! “you will get it saturday!” We did not trust this promise of delivery, justifiably so. So Yesterday, Friday, Scott decided he would simply redo the whole thing and drive back to Sacramento again to the USDA with a new copy of the document so that we could then leave early on Tuesday and take it to the LA consulate who we spoke with and they said they could take care of it. We are flying out of LA on a red-eye Tuesday night, so we figure we should have time to do this before our flight. Sadly, we should have called the office to see if the hours would be different given the fact that it is Memorial Day weekend, (do you see where this is going?) yep, they closed early and Scotts 3 hour drive was a bust, sooo 3 hours back home again! Poor Scott! Ok, soooo fast forward to today, Saturday, its early yet, but we shall see if the original document actually materializes. I had to let the new owners of our house know that we are expecting a Fed Ex delivery on their front porch today, but they will not be there so I will need to go check later to see if it miraculously appears today. Fingers are crossed! If it makes it we will be sooooo lucky but if not, well, plan B is to be at the USDA first thing Tuesday morning, have the new document of Health Certificate stamped then drive to the LA Panamanian consulate to complete this silly requirement. There is only one flaw in this plan, that is, we had arranged to hand in our economy rental car on tuesday morning and pick up a bigger SUV to accommodate all our baggage and the two cat carriers. The car rental place opens at 9:00 so we cant get to Sacramento until probably around noon! Grrr! It’s a 3 hour drive to Sacrament then a 5 hour drive to LA and the consulate is 50 miles from the airport. Good Grief!! Thankfully, this has been our worst snafoo yet! There had to be some kind of wrinkle in our diabolical plan, otherwise, how could we call this an Adventure, we would have had to call it A CAKEWALK!!! WaaaHaaaa!! Here We Go!!!