This blog is especially dedicated to all my readers that have animal children. I hope that you, of all people in the world, won’t read the following and scrunch up your faces with a puzzled look of ‘why?!’, but instead, be able to understand and relate to our actions as pure, unconditional love. Our whole week has been dedicated to making Big Butt comfortable and settled.
This is a story about the relocation of our baby, Big Butt.
Saturday 27 December
This was our (Gambit and mine) flying day.
By this day, Big Butt was harbouring a few fleas which were causing her to continuously scratch and bite herself.
It made me feel anxious that she would be uncomfortable for the three days before she would be picked up by JetPets and given a flea bath.
So first thing on this morning, I located a vet close by to ask if they could suggest something stronger than the Frontline Plus for Cats which didn’t seem to be working.
The vet assistant explained that Frontline was great for ticks but didn’t work well for fleas and therefore recommended Comfortis that was apparently supposed to work within 30 mins to 4 hours. The fleas were apparently supposed to just ‘jump’ off her and then die.
To my amazement, Comfortis seemed to work within hours! I saw fleas surfacing, moving slower and many lying dead on the bed. With the flea problem solved, it made me feel more comfortable to board our flight later that night.
Tuesday 30 December
To relocate Big Butt over to New York, we chose the professional services of JetPets.
They organised everything to do with the relocation for us which included
- Flight booking on the most direct flight to your destination
- Comprehensive itinerary
- Detailed information about your destinations quarantine and customs requirements
- Boarding (if required)
- Arranging an airline approved travel crate – including free Jetpets Stay Dry Fleece
- Collection in a Jetpets Animal Transport Vehicle
- Jetpets Veterinary home visit to provide necessary vaccinations (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane)
- Access to Jetpets Transit Lounge (pre-flight)
- Health check by Jetpets Veterinarian pre-flight (Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane)
- Delivery of your pets if chosen
- 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year customer service
I think the feature I appreciated the most was the home visit by the vet to give Big Butt her feline flu and rabies vaccination days before she was picked up.
JetPets arrived at Gambit’s Aunt’s place and picked up Big Butt in the morning.
They gave her a health check before checking her into Hanrob, a pet hotel near the Sydney airport, for the night.
The overnight stay was required to monitor Big Butt’s health before her Qantas flight to Los Angeles (LAX) the next day.
Sunday 31 December
Big Butt was given the all clear and boarded her flight to LAX. She arrived the same day due to the time difference and when she arrived, she was quarantined for a few hours and boarded for the night.
Typically she would have been flown out the same day to New York but due to the January 1 public holiday it was recommended that she stay the night in LA.
Friday 2 January
Big Butt flew out from LA to JFK and landed around 5:30pm. The time it took for the driver to pick her up and deliver her to us was painful, I was so excited that the moment couldn’t come soon enough as I realised just how much I missed and loved her.
I had been feeling very anxious on how the five day transit might have affected her and was worried that she might have developed behavioural issues and become withdrawn, aggressive, hyperactive…
When she arrived, the first thing we noticed was the dried poop that was caked on her backside.
My first thought was my poor baby sitting in her own poop for god knows how long in her crate. My second thought was where I was going to get cat shampoo at 10pm at night!
Enter Prime Now.
Within 2 hours we received a bottle of Tropiclean, Hypo-allergenic – Puppy & Kitten Shampoo delivered. Immediately receiving the shampoo, Gambit and I bathed Big Butt which was a traumatic experience for all involved. But once she was washed and lightly dried off, we were hopeful things were back on track.
Saturday 2 January
Unfortunately things weren’t exactly back on track.
In preparation of Big Butt’s arrival, I had purchased two Litter One litter trays. I wasn’t able to bring over or buy the same brand she had used back in Sydney. Litter One, a fantastic product was similar and completely biodegradable and disposable. The tray is cardboard and after 4-6 weeks all I would need to do is close it up and put it in the bin.
However, Big Butt didn’t agree with me on how excellent this product was.
She had found the litter tray to do her first wee which gave us some hope that she would poop in the tray also but when we left her for a few hours during the day, we came home to find that she had done her first do-do in the new cat bed we bought her.
Gambit cleaned it up and we hoped that by moving it next to the litter trays she would start using them again.
Sunday 3 January
Unfortunately, that also didn’t work.
Instead, she did a wee in the cat bed which leaked through the material and wet the hardwood floors.
That’s when I started to freak out that she had developed toilet problems. I thought maybe she didn’t like the kitty litter, or was stressed, or was acting up to punish us for putting her through the relocation.
So after a quick Google search I found Feline Pine, another product similar to what Big Butt was using in Sydney. And thanks to Prime Now, I received a bag of Feline Pine within 2 hours.
That night, I locked her in the bathroom with the litter tray as I had read to keep her in a small contained area.
Monday 4 January
Big Butt found the litter tray but when I opened the bathroom door in the morning, I found the poor thing had somehow managed to grab every towel in the bathroom to cover the poop she had done in the litter tray. I was quite amazed exactly how neatly she had placed them over the litter tray.
But at least she found the litter tray!
Now that Big Butt was using the litter tray again, the next problem was that her poops were runny and therefore she was walking around with bits of poop stuck on her behind. Not ideal for hygienic household.
In addition to the wet poops, Big Butt was passing some nauseating gas.
So I did some research and found that these issues could be caused by diet or stress.
And of course, there were products available to help resolve these issues.
Feliway: a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure. I read that Feliway was used by vets, animal shelters and cat hotels to help make cats more relaxed in a new environment.
Grain free food: I had ordered Royal Canin Ragdoll, the brand she used to eat in Sydney but after Googling just what was in the product, I found that it was loaded with wheat and grain products, which could cause cat flatulence. So I researched and found Merrick Purrfect Bistro Grain Free Real Chicken Recipe Dry Cat Food. And you guessed it – Prime Now delivered a packet within 2 hours.
Clumping litter: I thought I would test another litter product, Arm & Hammer Super Scoop Clumping Litter since her poops were quite sloppy.
Now finally, after a week of worry, Google searches, frantic last minute Prime Now orders, trialling 9 products in less than a month, we are one big happy family again!!!
In fact, Big Butt is so settled that she has found herself a permanent spot on our bed – right between our pillows, where she squeezes herself into so that she can snuggle up with us while we sleep.