Friday, March 23, 2012

Herding Cats

I'm leaving on Sunday for the States for our big "house hunting trip"; however, because of a decision I'm now regretting I made, it has turned into the "getting the cats to America" trip.

I must admit that despite all our moving, and all my air travel, I've never flown with animals before and it's making me a nervous wreck.  Maybe it's that my mom has impressed upon me how cruel she thinks it is, maybe I really don't like tormenting my animals, maybe it's just a cover for the nervousness about finding a house.  Whatever it is, I've been pre-occupied with this for the last few weeks.

But in all honesty, it's a PROCESS to get these tiny 8 and 12 pound creatures off this island.  It started a few weeks ago when I started looking into putting the cats on the flight with me.  Coincidentally, United decided to change its pet policy - a LONG, LONG story - but suffice it to say, that after MANY, MANY phone calls to All Nippon, Continental, and United, I think I have them reserved on the flight, and I think it's not going to cost me $2,000.  I think.

Then I had to find carriers that fit the "new" specifications - a problem when you don't have Petsmart near by.  And the Exchange stocks mainly non-airline approved containers (of course).  But after many trips to Japanese pet stores, the Exchange, and then Okinawa Yardsales, I now have two carriers. Check!

Then I had to call the vet to check on their vaccinations (expired - bad pet owners we are).  Kadena vet has no appointments so off-base I go.  Rabies and some others to boot - Check!

Then, within 10 days of travel they have to go back to the vet for a "health certificate".  Kadena vet has no appointments so off-base I go.  Health certificates - Check!

Then, within 3 days of travel I have to take the cats down to Naha Airport to get their quarantine approval.  Hour trip down, 1/2 getting the certificate, hour trip back.  Check!

I think, at this point, we're set to fly!

Here are some funny asides to this story...

1.  Noah's Animal Hospital - This is the off-base vet we've been going to ever since Obi got into a fight with a habu snake.  They are great and so different from American vets.  I love their waiting room: the free gourmet coffee, the free people snacks, the free dog snacks, the clean up center for pet accidents, the messages about Jesus, the office hours on a Sunday!  Great place.

The gourmet coffee machine - help yourself!

Pet clean up area

Free snacks for dogs

Free snacks for people

2.  Obi looking like he's in jail on the way down to the airport.

Help, get me out of here!

3.  My post on Facebook to our neighbors, and their kinds responses.

Dear Neighbors,
I have some very bad news. All my "secret" midnight killings have caught up with me and I've received a very bad sentence. This Sunday morning, I will be shoved in a box, put on a plane and shipped to a foreign land to live out my days. I hear that this new land, Washington, doesn't have shrews or mongoose or habu so I will no longer be tempted by my desire. If you see me wandering the parking lot, sitting on your car or visiting your pent up animals during my few remaining days on Okinawa, please be sure to say goodbye - I will miss you all dearly!

  • Jessica Bailey We will definitely miss your cat antics, Obi! Safe travels!!!
  • Kelly Payne Don't fret Obi! There are deer to stare down, banana slugs to be slimed by, lawn moles, and lots of feathered friends....including seagulls galore (but keep an eye peeled for those Eagles...they may take you for a ride in the sky)! It's not all will have old friends (and a new one too!) to love you lots until you are reunited with your family in this strange new land called Washington...
    Wednesday at 2:06pm ·  ·  2
  • Ashley Terpstra Don't go Obi! We will miss you and Wendell won't know what to do without his favorite kitty friend.
  • Jessica Barber Hameed Obi, Your hunting skills won't be put to waste in Washington. Our cats used to get the moles in the yard and the mice in the garage and barn, which was very helpful. The plane ride probably won't be any fun though. Take Care!
  • Joe B. McDaniel 
    Dear Obi, I'm glad you came over a couple of times to play chase in my house, and I'll miss talking to you through the prison glass. I wish I could have come outside in the "yard" to play with you but I"m afraid I have a life sentence and escape is futile I've tried a couple of times and I just keep getting caught..I have seen the warden petting you from time to time and I keep thinking your about to be captured as well, but some how you manage to I wish I had your luck and freedom, although it's not bad in here they do take care of me, sorry I digress. Have a great time in this place call Washington,,keep up the good hunt. Oh one more thing, I hope you don't get stuck on a roof while your in Washington. If you can come by and say good bye before you leave. I'll miss you and I know my guards will also..Your friend, Jack-Jack...
    13 hours ago ·  ·  2
  • Krimp Knight hahahahaha i laughed out loud at the roof comment.
    11 hours ago · 

1 comment:

  1. Obi in that crate picture is just too sad. We miss him (and you of course) already!!!