Click HERE for Part 1 of the saga
It was devastating beyond belief to find out that my beloved Champagne will not be able to fly with me as planned. When we visited the vet last week for what I thought was one of the last pre-departure tests I was told that the required Rabies Titer blood test required by all EU countries for importing pets takes four to six weeks to process, on top of which there is a 90-day quarantine for the pet beginning with the extraction day. I swear I felt the earth open up beneath me and I wished at that moment it could have swallowed me. At this stage of my life where I have lost so much, I cling to the little that I have left and Champagne, non-human companion that she is, is my source of serenity during these turbulent times. as a dear friend pointed out, I have transported cats out of Europe but this is the first time importing a cat to the EU and fulfilling all the requirements! I was caught completely off-guard.
To complicate matters, the blood cannot be tested here in the Philippines but has to be sent to Australia or the USA and this is the aforementioned four to six week processing. Can you imagine? There is not a single lab here in the Philippines that is EU-approved to do so?
So I will leave her in Manila and she will fly as soon as the quarantine is over. There is a prescribed period for that as well, which cannot be exceeded otherwise we have to start all over again.
As if that weren’t enough, no pet forwarder will handle her as unaccompanied live cargo, which means she has to be checked in accompanied live cargo and travel with a passenger. This just keeps getting better by the minute. No, there is absolutely no way around it. I asked my god brother whether the military could ship her out. He replied that the only way would be with the K9 units of the UN Peace Keeping Forces. Can you imagine my little Champagne with a K9 platoon on a military airplane? The dogs would go mad! But that is not going to happen because first of all they were already deployed, and second, they are only sent to Haiti, Syria and the Ivory Coast, none of which I wish to send Champagne to.
With Champagne’s previous history of abuse (I am the fourth owner), I cannot leave her at just any pet hotel to be locked up in a metal cage the entire time. Perhaps in an emergency for a couple of days yes, but not for 90 days! So I spoke to my very generous and flexible landlord, and made arrangements for her along with her cat sitter / caregiver. The people she knows and is comfortable with all have dogs, are allergic to her, or will be traveling, and this is not a cat that can be dumped on just anyone, given all her separation and abandonment issues!
So how is she going to fly? That’s still an open question at the moment, and there is still the possibility that she flies with military escort… stay tuned!
Just for kicks, on the same day I found out I couldn’t take Champagne I also lost the apartment I thought was in the bag already and a done deal. So I scrambled to find new temporary housing and hope that I find more permanent accommodation before the container arrives!