David mentioned to me the other day that I had broken one the cardinal sins of the internet, in that I had mentioned my cats in a post and had not provided pictures of them.
I introduced Black Momma and Touriga in my last post. These are the matriarchs of the tribe. Next in seniority is Fleabag. Fleabag holds a special place in my heart. His mother Touriga sought sanctuary in the house after a particularly loud and vicious fight during my first weeks here. She arrived meowing on the doorstep with this tiny little scrap of a kitten audibly begging to be let in.
The attitudes toward domestic animals in rural Portugal was one of the first, and the hardest, lessons I had to learn on arrival here. In Portugal, with the exception of a few pampered pooches and overindulged kitties in the cities, most animals the western world consider to be domestic animals are, in fact, considered working animals and are treated as such.
Notwithstanding all the emotions involved the hardest part of moving several thousands of miles to a new country is what you take with you. Many people who undertake moves of this distance move en-masse as a family, often with the assistance of an outside agency such as work that will ultimately pay for your removals and help you through the last frantic months in one location and assist you at the other end. Large organisations have their own relocation services, either their own in-house or a specialist company contracted to do the same.