Adventures in Kitty Immigration

Friday, October 2, 2009

When we tell people we're moving to Australia, the first question Tim and I usually get is, "What about Tony Danza?" If you've never met us, you're probably scratching your head. That's because I've not yet formally introduced my blog readers to our pride and joy, Tony Danza:
Look at what a gentleman he is. If you're wondering, yes, he's odd-eyed and deaf. He also has cerebellar hypoplasia which is fancy science talk for "tiny brain." Well, at least the part of the brain that controls motor function. None of his paws really move in tandem together and as a result he can't really walk a straight line. Tim rescued him from some irresponsible care-takers (TD's mom and dad also happen to be brother and sister) 12 years ago, so now he's my step-kitty.

Bearing in mind his age, medical issues and generally awful disposition we've struggled with whether or not he'd even be able to survive the journey. We took him to our vet yesterday though, which shed a lot of light on the situation.

Australia requires that imported animals get microchipped, undergo a rabies vaccine and bloodwork, and then there's a 6 month waiting period before he's allowed in the country. He got the first two yesterday and will get his bloodwork on Oct. 15th. Six months from then is April 15th which conflicts a bit with our anticipated January 25 move date.

So we've got three choices:

  1. Change our move date. Unfortunately I'm hoping to start school in March. It's unclear whether my visa will allow me to go over before Tim, but if it does, then that's a possibility.
  2. Leave TD with a friend, to whom we'd be forever indebted. Unfortunately TD doesn't play well with other animals, and if you don't already have a cat, you probably don't want one. There are also some potential responsibilities that come with it. If you're interested we should have a talk.
  3. Quarantine him in Australia. The thought of him stuck in a cage for several months is something I don't relish, but apparantly Australian quarantine is known for having the best treatment -- making it also rather expensive, however.
The last option of course was not taking him, but the vet seemed to think he's in good enough health to make it, so leaving him behind would be selfish. As much as I sort of liked the idea of moving into a home not filled with cat hair and never having to clean up hairballs and vomit... well, how can you say goodbye to this face?

More to come on the Tony Danza saga...