Thursday, November 16, 2006

Kitties are home at last!!

The girls finally arrived last night about 8:30pm! They seemed as relieved to get out of their kennels as we were to see them. They walked right out and let us give them some hello snuggles, then proceeded to wander around for the next 2 hours just taking in the new sights. Our friend & co-worker Amy was over to meet them, and both Taka and Neko let Amy give them some head scratches. Taka meowed at us until the moment we turned out the light to go to bed – she sure had a lot to say about her grand adventure.

So, the whole process of getting them hear was far more painful than we’d first anticipated. We hired a company to manage the travel, make sure all the paperwork was in order, etc, but they turned out to be incredibly unresponsive and unreliable. About a week before they were set to travel my mom identified another pet relocation company. She was kind enough to make at least 3 different trips to the vet for all of the last minute signatures and treatments the cats require to enter the UK. The paperwork then had to get sent overnight to the USDA for a stamp in order to leave the country, and all the paperwork had to accompany them on the flight to the UK to be inspected by DEFRA once they arrived.

Unfortunately, the vet made a mistake and didn’t give the cats one of the two treatments the UK requires for entry (even though all of the UK documentation says so). The USDA didn’t notice it before they approved the paperwork, and the relocation guy didn’t notice it either before the cats got shipped off. Unfortunately, the UK DEFRA inspectors DID notice, and the cats had to be put in quarantine until a vet could go on-site and give them the missing treatment. Then they would have to wait 24 hours before they could be released, meaning almost a day and a half in the kennel. All totalled, the mistake cost just shy of another $500. Ugh. These are very expensive kitties, but waking up with Taka sleeping on my hip and Neko snuggled up around my head, they’re worth every shilling.

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