Lola at the farm, Lola in Singapore, Lola in Sydney
Comment 1

Cat paperwork – moving her to Singapore

Sleepy kitty lola cat farm

I’m completing the forms for bringing cat over. There is nervous excitement brewing. I feel like I need the bathroom. Maybe I am packing myself. It is stressful. The thought of her, upset on the planes. She is the best cat ever but when it comes to travel I wouldn’t call her chill.

Her home was the pound and then northern beaches in Sydney. They had gotten a pound friend for Lola. Another, more lively, cat. Those two did not get along, at all, in the slightest. She was most concerned about finding a loving home for Lola. The other cat was a bully and mostly a stray at that point. He would come in to eat and beat up Lolypols for fun but really didn’t want much to do with his family. She had toyed with the idea of just leaving him to be a neighbourhood cat. He got a new home, she didn’t want the two cats to go to one home because they hated each other. Handy for me because I only wanted one cat, an inside cat.

Lola’s mum gave her away to us because the found themselves expecting a baby, though actively avoiding it by every single method. All had failed. She was emotional, I am not sure why she told me but I think the thought of partying with Lolypols compelled her to justify why her first and most loved child was being given away. Life happens, I get it. She said she was happy with being pregnant now. When her personal medical intervention plus a condom failed and she still found herself pregenant, she figured that the child wanted them as parents so they just had to go with it.

With a baby on the way, they were moving. No longer would they be in this nice big granny flat. The huge yard they had access to wouldn’t be theirs to use any longer. Pets aren’t allowed in their new building. It is an apartment complex that is very difficult to get in to and her mother has begged the owner to let them move in. Without the pets. Her mother lives there also and had for some time, a good tenant. She has vouched for her daughter and son in law. Lola’s mum said she considered sneaking Lolypols in but she didn’t want to disrespect her mother or the effort she went to in getting them in to the building.

The issue was, Loly needs a lot of attention and pats and general homebody companionship. From a person, not a cat. With the baby, Lola’s mum worried that jealousy would take over and Lola would suffocate the newborn. A fear many people have. She didn’t want to go to the effort of sneaking Lola in just to have her kill or harm her human baby.

If she could find a loving home for her then it would be better, in the long run. No matter how hard it would be for her to give her up. And that is where we came in. Namely me, I got her without telling TW. I went over, heard the full story, Lolypols came out to meet me. A little shyly, more being coy. She wanted to talk to me, she just didn’t want me to know that. I asked Lola’s mum if it was ok if I picked Lola up to check if I was allergic. I have had random cat allergies since I was little.

Weirdly, I squatted down, picked Loly up and rubbed her under my chin. I thought this would be the fast and easy way to test my allergies. If I couldn’t breathe in a few minutes, we couldn’t have her. I am not sure what Lola’s mum thought of it, I did explain it but it was weird. I felt weird, it looked weird, Lolypols didn’t like it. She moved to my shoulder for a cuddle.

We had holidays booked so I said I would take her but we couldn’t get her for a little while. This was fine because her mum wanted a good home but also to spend as much time with her as possible.

Now here we are, I am completing forms to move her to Singapore with us. My parents have been minding her. She loves my Dad, tolerates my Mum, but isn’t a fan of their dogs, birds or horses.

Everyone wants her. Either because they have met her and love her. They think she is sweet and pretty, soft, friendly or they generally wouldn’t mind having a cat. It is too much for my parents and while they will miss her heaps once she leaves. I nag them too much about her and they have to shuffle the cat and dogs around because it has been 40+ degrees out there and they can’t all be in the same room. They do need to be inside, in the air conditioning. If Cat got along with dogs it might have been ok but for the long term it isn’t good for the cat, dogs or my parents.

Taking lola for walks outside at the farm
Taking lola for walks outside at the farm – after we moved out of our unit in Sydney (TW lived with his brother and Cat and I roamed free on the land – not free free)

One of the biggest stresses we all have, me, TW, my parents, his parents, Lola’s friends, our friends, family etc, is that she won’t survive the flight. Her journey will start on a Sunday, a 3 hour drive. She isn’t a fan of drives but when Dad took her on this same drive at Christmas, she didn’t complain as much as she usually does. That is a good start. So she has to do that same drive in reverse, on the Sunday before her offical relocation starts. Then Monday morning at 5am she needs to be checked in at the airport in Dubbo – this is another hour drive.

The flight leaves at 6:30am. She will be in the “handling” area until the plane is loaded. We picked the earliest flight because she would spend about 40 minutes on the plane before the plane takes off. No more than 40 minutes but still up to 40 minutes.

Once she lands in Sydney she will be taken for her final vet and evaluation check. They have to give her some flea and tick treatments and then she will be in isolation. She will have pats and cuddles but no real interactions with other animals, to ensure she remains contaminate free.

That is super stressful. The overnight. She was a pound kitty and we don’t want her to stress out thinking she has been abandoned and is back at the pound. We think she isn’t a fan of other animals because of her pound days. It might not be, we don’t know for sure but that is what we decided. That and the time she met TW’s dogs and they attacked her.

Those dogs used to have a cat and she was an old grumpy cat who knew how to handle dogs. She met these dogs as puppies so trained them to her liking. Were they excited to see a new friend or did they see her as a game or food? No one can really say for sure. They have shown they have the pack animal instinct because with TW’s brother took his dog down they attacked to kill. It wasn’t a game. People were bitten when separating the two dogs from their victim. To say they were being different because we arrived with a cat is probably a little naive. So that certainly reinforced her fear of dogs.

Lola saying it is nap time, at the farm
Lola saying it is nap time, at the farm

A couple nights boarding, I think of it like a prison sentence and she won’t ever recover from it. Really it could be like a day spa. She might really love it. She doesn’t like mess or clutter (if you have read my posts about getting ready for her, you might have noticed I keep mentioning it there). The boarding place will be very clean. She will have her own spot. There will be new smells. She loves new smells. Not so much when it is animal smells but still she is a bit of a sticky beak.

Argh, I am about to vomit. Too much stress. Is this the right thing to do? For her, us, our old flat mates who were desperate to have her and whom Lola loved ver much. And what if she doesn’t make it. It won’t just be a tradgedy, it will be our fault.

The process is simple but stressful. Things seem difficult because we didn’t organise everything before we left. It is easy, it is straightforward. We have made it easier by using a company that specialises in moving pets and cutsoms and forms.

Lola saying it is nap time but just for her
Lola saying it is nap time but just for her- not bedtime

I tried to find the forms online, there is a huge reference to it on the Singapore Government website. But I didn’t ever actually find the form. I tried to call Qantas Freight to get the quote direct on moving her. They have booking and quotes online but not for international pet moving. Over 45 minutes later from a Mobile, no sign of anyone even considering answering my call. I thought well if I can’t get through to them now and something goes wrong I am not going to be able to handle this.

So I hung up and called a pet relocation company. They answered within 5 rings. They are responsive on email and phone. I don’t even know if it is more expensive to use them or not because I couldn’t get the quote myself from Qantas. Maybe if I wanted another 3, 4, 5 hours, I could have. But if your cat is missing who has time to wait that long to find out what is happening.

We are getting the pet moving company to do everything. They would have picked her up from home except it is a regional airport. I am not sure of the price of a 3 hour, each way, pick up but I am sure it wasn’t something we could afford. If we did go with a pickup, it would have meant more boarding for Lola. It is best she spends as much time with people as she can. My mum was going to drive her to Sydney but that trip is longer in a car than her car + plane ride would be and it doesn’t actually save any nights away from home.

When she lands in Singapore she goes to a vet straight from the plane. Once she is checked she will be delivered to us. We don’t have a car here so trying to get to the airport to get her and then bring her back in a taxi. Getting a taxi promplty after collecting her and having one say it is ok with a pet. It seemed unlikely to run smoothly so having someone bring her to us is the best solution. It does mean probably waiting an extra half hour to see her but hopefully she will associate all the stress of the trip with the people who collected her and just be happy to see us at the end.

Her forms are submitted, deposit paid. Photos uploaded and vets have been contacted to provide the paperwork required for the immigration documents.

Australia to Singapore is a safe country to a pretty safe country so there is no quarantine required. In Sydney it is a bit like a quarantine but not really. If we lived in Sydney it would run slightly different but we don’t so this is what needs to happen. On arrival there is no quarantine at all. Just a vet check. They make sure she is the right cat, they have a photo and her chip number and also that she is healthy.

Now back to getting the apartment Lola ready.

Has anyone moved a cat overseas in cargo that can reassure me it will be ok? I only have people telling me she will die (I mean the moving company and vets are saying she should be fine but everything else is doomsday).

Click here to catch up or follow along on Cats journey from country NSW (Australia) to Singapore and our preparations for her arrival.

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Preparing for Lola to arrive in Singapore - The Empty W Chronicles

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.