Nilla made it! Our cat is now in the USA. What did we do to bring her back with us?
- We researched our options for pet travel. You can read a previous post here: Taking Nilla Along: 6 Steps for Pet Relocation.
- We talked to friends who had traveled with pets before.
- We decided on whether we would take her in-cabin, as luggage or through a pet relocation service.
- We weighed her and measured her to purchase the right carrier.
- We bought a soft sided pet carrier that would fit under the airplane seat.
- We took her to the vet and got the necessary vaccinations. She only needed a rabies shot.
- We practiced and practiced putting her and keeping her in her carrier for short periods of time.
- Following the vet’s advice, on the day of our departure, we gave her food and drink early in the morning and did not feed her or give her any water until we arrived at our final destination. Since our total travel time was less than 12 hours and cats can “hold it” for a long time, that worked well for us. I’m not sure what what we should have done had our flights been intercontinental.
- At our final destination, my husband’s parents had a warm place to sleep, an adequate litter box, water and food waiting for her.
Because we were at our in-laws for three weeks and then we hit the road for another three weeks, staying at various places (and much colder places) on our journey, we have been keeping Nilla in my in-law’s storage room for now until we find a permanent place to live (this is the 10th item). I feel sad for Nilla when I see her propped up on the window of the small room, looking out at the outdoors. Sometimes I wonder what goes through her head. Does she remember that she used to chase geckos and lizards and eat an occasional snake? Does she miss the heat? The howler monkeys? Does she miss her neighborhood cat friends/enemies? Will she try to escape once we let her out again? On the other hand, we will never regret bringing her. It has helped and assured our daughter that things will be okay. She does not have to grieve everything. And Nilla still has her human family that really loves her and wants to keep her around for as long as they can.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4