Reeeeunitedd and it feels so gooooooood!
We officially have a Nether-kitty!!
…and yes. That’s her strapped to my bike.
So, let it be known that if you ever decide to move out of the country, and you want to take your pet it’s a pain in the ass. And expensive. And 100% worth it. I’ll start at the beginning…
When we first found out that we were moving we starting looking into what it was going to take to get Meat Beazy (that’s her rap name) over to The Netherlands. From what we could tell, we needed three main things.
2. Rabies shot at least 21 days prior to her flight
3. Health Certificate signed off by a certified vet within 10 days of her flight.
No big deal right? Wrong. Mostly wrong because apparently there are two types of microchips. One kind is only used in the U.S., and the other is international. Naturally, when I took the cat to the humane society in Pittsburgh unbeknownst to me they gave her the wrong kind of microchip (has to be ISO compatible aka 15 digits, if you’re wondering). The rabies shot comes after the microchip, and we were on our way in plenty of time for her to fly the Friday after us.
I think most everyone knows, but we left Pittsburgh and spent about a month at home with family before we moved. During that time we made an appointment with the local vet for the health certificate, and that’s when I found out the humane society gave her the wrong type of microchip. Not only did the vet have to give her a new one (yep, she has 2), but they had to issue a new rabies shot. This meant she had to wait another 21 days before she was eligible to enter the country. We also found out that her health certificate had to be signed off by the state vet which was new information to us.
Since she couldn’t come with us when we originally planned Meatball got to live with Grandma for a few weeks!
Finally, after my darling mommy ran back and forth between local and state vets, she was on our way to us! Charlotte to Atlanta to Amsterdam.
When she arrived in Amsterdam she went to the “Animal Hotel” and waited for me to pick her up. So, naive me, I’m thinking ‘oh! I’ll train down, find cargo, in and out and on my way back home in 30 min tops’. HAH. No. Finding cargo was the easy part. Luckily, it was only a 10-12 minute walk from the airport terminal/train station. I say luckily because I ended up making that walk 6 times. I show up at cargo, and first, they say “we have a cat here??” uh. You better have a cat here. Once they find her they tell me I have to come back in an hour and a half. The vet has to inspect her before they can release her. So off I go. Back to the terminal to kill some time.
Ok, so BACK to cargo I go. She passes all the vet inspections (and the whole time I’m thinking what’s the point of having the health certificate??). They hand me a stack of papers and tell me I have to go back to the terminal to Customs to get them to sign off. Bring the papers back then I can have her. All in all, I think I probably walked about 4 miles back and forth, and if anyone needs any tips on Schiphol I’ve got ya covered.
After all this I finally got my kitty! A 2 hour train trip and a bike ride later she is here! Poor cat, I did manage to knock her off the back of the bike in my first attempt to strap her down with bungee cords. She was just dangling there off the side of the bike giving me a look like ‘really?’. After a slight adjustment, we biked on home with no problems.
Overall, she seems like she survived just fine. She’s already found all the windows and her cardboard bowl and is resisting my love like usual. And just a heads up, since this was such a fun experience Shane says we’re not moving back to the U.S. until Meatball goes to the big catnip field in the sky… so it might be a while.