Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Poke...Poke... Claw-Claw... $%@#$!

I could not imagine why my cat would NOT stop clawing at my head in the middle of the night last night. I thought it was due to my husband's temporary absence. It couldn't be due to the fact that I had cleaned the bathroom and shut the door so the entire house wouldn't smell like bleach could it? I mean, I know I NEVER have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night (cough, cough)... so I'm sure Slinky didn't need to use his litter box either right? Wow! I can't believe I (maybe) could have gotten some sleep last night/this morning if this had occurred to me about 24 hours earlier. He's currently sleeping on a dining room chair, so if he follows me to bed and terrorizes me again I'll know that he didn't need to pee, he just likes to see me suffer. If we didn't have so much invested in him my threats might do more good. He's worth a fortune.

We have had Slinky since we moved to Texas in 2004. We got him at the local shelter the day we moved into our house (after paying a non refundable $200 pet deposit). His previous owners had been evicted from their apartment.  Upon taking him to the vet for his rabies shot and neutering we found out also needed medication for worms, ear mites, and ring worm. After 6 years of regular vet and food expenses we moved to Germany and unfortunately (even though we had all the paperwork in order) the airline would not allow any pets to fly out of Killeen the day we left and I had to leave him behind. Luckily a friend that had gone with us to the airport offered to care for him until we could send for him so we put him back in the car and said goodbye to him for a couple months. When we were finally settled into our new apartment, and had gotten drivers licenses, and the weather had warmed up enough to send him we had to get all of his paperwork redone (it's only good for 10 days). We wired nearly $600 to our friend to pay for his cargo fees. (It would have only have cost $150 had the airline allowed him to fly with us when we flew over.) She drove him all the way to Austin, TX and he flew from there to Houston where his connecting flight to Frankfurt was cancelled due to a volcano in Iceland. Yes - I said VOLCANO! After hearing about this from my father 4000 miles away (not from the airline holding my cat hostage in Houston) I spent several hours of the wee morning on the phone with the airline trying to get them to pay for kenneling. They agreed to fly him back to Killeen and we could try sending him again once the sky cleared. Two weeks later (so yes, his paperwork needed to be updated again!) she took him back to Austin and he flew without incident to Frankfurt, Germany. We drove an hour and a half to the circus I mean, airport to pick him up.  I visited four different counters and paid another $200 worth of fees to finally claim my cat. He repays me by pawing the back of my head lovingly while I try to sleep. 

*I must note that the Fort Hood Vet Clinic was extremely helpful and did not charge me for any additional paperwork. They even helped me contact the customs officials at the Frankfurt airport to make sure everything was in order. We found out that it's the airline's policy that the paperwork must be within the last 10 days. The airport will honor it for longer. If you have any questions about importing a pet feel free to ask or comment. I may have forgotten some of the steps and would have to visit some sites I bookmarked but I would be glad to help or point you towards any info I have uncovered. It was the most stressful part of our move! *

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