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The Ballad of Mittenz McCusker

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Poor Mittenz,

He’s had his own adventure getting to Singapore. It’s not a super difficult process, but they are VERY particular about how to bring in pets. There are two options, a 3o day quarantine and a 10 day quarantine. Clearly we wanted to do the 10 option.

Alas, that involves paperwork (must be filled out in blue ink), FDA approval,  testing by a lab in Kansas, more paperwork, vaccinations, international phone calls with a pet moving company, air cargo, emails with Peter’s Pet Services here in Singapore, and a lot of luck.

Also, we did not complete it in time, so he had to stay with our friend David for a bit after we left.

The process (as best I remember)

1) Get Mittenz to the vet, he needs to first have blood drawn to be sent to Kansas to be tested for rabies. Then AFTER blood is drawn (that’s important) he get’s another booster for rabies. This must be down at least 30 days before export.  But of course the lab in Kansas takes 4-6 weeks to get results. Without those test results you cannot reserve quarantine space in Singapore. No reservation, mean kitty export limbo until test results come back

2) You depart for Singapore, leaving behind the furry beast with a friend. Enter David. Saint David. David who’s got a crazy schedule and is uber busy. David who is also going to be looking after a 2 yr old puppy (Golden retriever). Mittenz has never met another animal that we know of.  Begin emails from the states on updates about the cat:

Day 1-Email from David.

I got home from dinner last night around 11:30 PM. I found Mittenz hiding under my bed in my bedroom – – – his favorite place from last visit too. Last time, it took him 2 days before he would stop hiding under my bed. But last night he came out of hiding quickly and was social. He jumped up in my bed a few times during the night and was a little bit hungry this morning and was not afraid to tell me about it. He pooped on my wood floor – – not sure why – – but it wasn’t bad.

The title of his email was Good News. Frankly having a cat poop on my floor is not my idea of good news, but what ever works.

Day 2 Email:

He discovered the litter box near the windows in the living room – – no accidents last night.   Now he is jumping upon my chest and purring like a chainsaw.   I have the hormone spray stuff just in case.

Now we are making progress! Nothing like a 17lb cat sitting on your chest each morning and night, purring like a chainsaw…actually it is kind of cute when he does that.

Enter the puppy.

Just to put your minds at ease….the golden retriever arrived last night.   Mittenz was understandably freaked out at first.  Lots of hissing and swatting at first. But that lasted literally less than 1 hour.  The dog is barely 2 years old and just wanted to play with Mittenz.  By the time I went to bed 3 hours later the cat was no longer in stand off mode.

Mittenz was sleeping in bed with me or under my bed.   The dog took the bed space last night – -and Mittenz slept perched up high in the window sill last night in the living room so he could see the dog approaching before getting attacked I guess.

Long story short, by this morning, all is fine.   The cat has realized that the dog is not a threat.  They were both laying at my feet in the bathroom while I shaved this morning.  Mittenz will swat if the dog tries to get too friendly but then the dog runs away scared.  He is not tormenting the cat.

I expect that they will both be sleeping in the bed soon.   I have the dog until April 23rd.

I did not separate them when I left this morning.  I think they will actually enjoy having company instead of being locked up alone all day.

We’ve had this cat for about 4 years, never heard him hiss once. Well done David.

It continues on like this for a bit, suffice to say a few days later sure enough, both Mittenz and the dog are sleeping in the bed with David and it’s all a big happy family.

On to step 3.

3) Test results come back approved, Mittenz gets his quarantine space.

4) Time to buy a plane ticket. We aer hapless. Can’t figure it out. We call Club for Pets (Great service) after finding them on the net, and being recommended by one of the airlines and Nan Smith came to the rescue.

5) Begin a 4 day countdown. You see 4 days before export you have to go to the vet, have the paperwork filled out, and have Mittenz treated one more time for some other stuff. Then, THEN! you put all that in an envelope send via priority FedEx to Annapolis to be stamped and signed by an FDA vet (that’s one day of delivery, one day turn around, then one day to send back to you via FedEx=3 days within a 4 day window) That’s assuming everything is perfect.Which is never is. In this case the paperwork was missing a rabies vaccine date. We are well into Singapore at this time, 12 hours in the future/past so coordination is difficult at best…..I email David and the Vet in a panic. I call the vet. The vet is closed. True Story. The day I need them the most, an electrical failure has locked down there security grille, they can’t get into their office. I email the FDA Vet all the information I have gotten from the vet in the past hoping something in the records will help. It does. Mittenz is approved.

Only David did not know who to make the check payable to, nor for how much, so he did not send payment. Sigh. The FDA processed the paperwork anyway, I gave David the info, and a check was issued. Saint David indeed.

4) Nan picks up Mittenz from David, puts him on a Cargo plane (bye puppy, bye David) and he arrives in Singapore.

5) He’s man handled by some local vets, picked up by Peter, and transferred to the Kitty pookie, for 10 Days.

6) We visited him on Saturday, he was very happy to see us. The cage is pretty big and it was clean. The staff was very  friendly, and when we told the guy who we were there to see, he said “Oh, he’s very big, and he’s very friendly” That’s our cat.

Mittenz and Paul

Despite all these adventures, the house is a little less alive without the furry beast around and we do miss him. Looking forward to having him back.


2 responses »

  1. sounds like the paperwork snafus it takes to adopt! welcome to a bit of our world!

  2. Ryan- is Mittenz a Maine Coon? That’s what I have, too, and they look alike. They are so sweet and BIG! Mine’s 24 pounds and on a strict diet


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