Friday, July 11, 2014

Introducing My Other Travel Companion

Willow, aka The Fluffinator
This, dear readers, is Willow. She has been my furry friend for, hmmm, lotsa years now. I should look that up, shouldn't I?
Her full name is Pussy Willow. She was named after the pussy willow plants that grow in Ontario in the spring. The buds come out as soft grey fuzzy things that look like kitten toes.

I adopted her from the OSPCA, where she had been causing trouble for almost a year. She was not a friendly cat. She bit everyone who tried to touch her. She bit me the first day I met her. But I knew she was the one I was going to take home. Something in her eyes begged me to get her out of there.

Because of her lengthy stay in prison and the shady past that got her there, Willow is not the kind of cat you just pass off to someone else. Plus, I'm of the firm belief that pets are for life. They are not throwaway toys. She and I are in 'til death do us part.

For these reasons -- plus the fact that I freaking love her and need her soft fur to soak up my tears when I'm sad -- I am planning on taking her with me to wherever it is I'm going. Yeah, crazy. I know.

Here is what I have learned so far about taking a pet to another country:

  • She needs to get a rabies vaccination and a certificate of health from the vet.
  • There are only certain airlines that take pets. I will probably go with Delta. 
  • Some airlines will let her be in a crate with me inside the plane. Others, she will have to go underneath in a special pressurized baggage compartment, which is not available on all flights.
  • Some people have suggested that the underneath option is better because it is dark and safe. Plus her meowing and/or pooping won't disturb passengers. (Much like babies! Too bad we can't stick them underneath, eh?)
  • Certain "snub-nosed" breeds of cats (and dogs) are not allowed on planes (Persian cats, pugs)
  • Customs will take longer due to having to wait for a vet to come and inspect her. 
  • Bringing her back to Canada in the future is pretty much the same thing, only backwards. There are no quarantine periods if you can prove rabies vacc and general good health. 
Here are some helpful links I've been using. 
Canadian Food Inspection Agency - The certificate you need for your pet plus lots o' info
Delta Airlines Pet Travel - great info and tips, plus customer service has been very helpful - good info, but remember to always confirm directly with your airline

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