Category Archives: Jayda

Loot from the USA

Trent was back in the states last week, and he was sent with a shopping list of some items that are either unavailable or too expensive here in Singapore. Folgers coffee, protein bars, rice-a-roni, sports beans, cereal.

Black and white kitty, Miss Jayda, is a princess and loves to have her photo taken.

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The end of the 30 day jail sentence for kitties

I was counting down the hours until I could pick up Jazz & Jayda from quarantine.  When 10:00 am Wednesday finally arrived, I was at the Sembawang Quarantine Station ready to get my furry babies and bring them home.  

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We had visited them twice, and each time, both cats seemed to miss us very much.  They would jump in our arms, rub on us, meow a lot, Jazz even sat in my purse.   The facility was clean, although it did smell a bit.  The cats space  was very much like a cell … windows on three sides, a ledge, and enough floor space for their kitty litter box.   There was enough room for one adult to fit. 

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Well, when we visited … all five of us squeezed into this room.  Imagine the excitement!  Cats carrying on, fur flying ( they desperately needed brushing), some allergy sneezing, my tears, and then all the other cats in the facility crying as well.  We must have looked like such nut jobs on the video surveillance camera, but we didn’t care!  

 Anyhow, when I finally had the cats released to me, after signing many papers, I got the kennels into my van, and off we went.  After the 30 minute drive home with both of the cats making the most terrifying noises, we arrived at the condo, and  after managing to get both kennels in the lift and up to the fourth floor, I opened the doors to the kennel and the cats experienced freedom for the first time since mid-July. 

Their reaction?  Complete chaos.  They freaked out.  Ran up and down the hallway, into and out of rooms so fast they were just a black blur.  Then they ran right into the closet in the master bedroom and hid in the darkest corner.  And refused to come out.  When I was able to drag Jazz out, he ran into the bathroom, and cowered under the sink, where he remained for hours.  They refused to drink or eat, and they seemed terrified of every little noise.   

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Can you see him under there?   poor Jazz.   I decided to lock them in the closet, which was about double the size of their cell, thinking that maybe they needed to gradually get used to big spaces again.  They were good with that, remaining quiet and calm for the afternoon, until the kids came home from school. Complete chaos again.  Fur flying, cats crying.  

Cats crying?  You know what I’m talking about … that loud, alien sounding “MERRAOWL!”  that give you chills.  In our very unfurnished condo, the echos of their crying were unbearable.   They never stopped crying.  They cried, and cried, and cried.  All. Night. Long.  

I spent the entire night cradling the cats like newborn babies, trying to get them to calm down.  Once finally relaxed and sleeping, I would put them in the back corner of the closet, but as soon as I would walk away, loud crying would begin.  This lasted for about 48 hours.  By the fourth day, they only cried when I wasn’t in the same room or when they couldn’t find each other.  

They have been home now for 6 days, and things have calmed down considerably.  Jayda sleeps wrapped around my neck or on my chest.   She gets as close as she can to my head at all times.    If I leave the room, she follows me like a puppy, always underfoot.  When I leave the house, I have to cuddle her to sleep, and then gently put her in the back of the closet, where she now has a nice fluffy pillow-bed.   Jazz is also a bit mental … Trent and I once found him cowering and shaking, trying to hid underneath the comforter on Shanes bed.  

Each day they get a little more secure,   they cry a little less, and with lots of attention and reassurance, I am hopeful they will forget the trauma they endured traveling to Asia.  

 

Blinkman Kitties World Tour

Jazz & Jayda are the babies of our family.   They were born under a tree near our house, and hit the jackpot when my three kids spotted them 8 years ago.

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The kids love this brother/sister duo, and so when it came time to planning our move to Asia, I knew it would be complicated to get these two to the other side of the world.   After some preliminary research, it didn’t take me long to become overwhelmed with the  many steps to getting things lined up properly in order for the cats to be accepted in the Singapore.  There was rabies shots on two separate days (exactly 30 days apart), titre testing had to be done & sent to the University of Kansas.  There was microchipping, teeth cleaning under sedation, deworming,  and several health exams.  There was applying for import licenses,  quarantine reservation applications,  plane reservations, and pet hotel reservations.   USDA Endorsement paperwork,  Health Certificates,  more last minute check-ups that had to be done within 10 days of their travel,  airline declarations completed by the captains of each plane, and customs permits.

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I had to hire a professional pet relocation company to handle all the details, which to the shock and dismay of Trent, cost a small fortune.   I’m telling ya, Trent has a halo.  My  husband grew up on a farm.   With farm cats that never came in the house.  Ever.  And now he has morphed into this man who will willing to spend part of the kids college funds to move two cats.  He deserves a lot credit.

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Hudson Pet Hospital handled this easily, communicating with my pet relocation company, and when it came time to go, Jazz & Jayda were ready.  At least according to their health, and their paperwork.  But they had no idea what they were in for.  Below is a picture of the cats in their travel crates (minus the doors ).  Jazz has his treats packed and ready to go.

 

 

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And here they are all loaded into the car, ready to go back to Hudson Pet Hospital for another visit.

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Very early on July 20th  ( 4:30 am )  they were picked up at our home and transported to the Minneapolis airport, where they were loaded onto a flight to Chicago.   From Chicago they flew to Amsterdam, where they were booked into a “Pet Hotel”.  I’m not kidding, they had a room for the night.   They were able to spend 12 hours in a room in Amsterdam,  and while they stretched their legs a bit, their travel crates were cleaned, they enjoyed some snacks, and endured another health check.    Their next flight was to Singapore, where they were inspected and then their paperwork was inspected and they were accepted into the country.  They spent the night at the airport, and the next afternoon they were transported to the quarantine facility, where they will spend the next 30 days.

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This is where I said my tearful goodbyes to the kitties, and then Cliff the driver loaded them into his car and off they went!

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60 hours!   It took nearly 60 hours to go from Hudson to Singapore!  How did two very spoiled,  little house cats with pea-sized brains handle this?

Despite receiving constant communication via our pet relocation people … flight schedules, emails & texts with pictures, flight trackers & updates,  and despite Trents assurances that even spoiled house cats are tough as nails, I was wild with anxiety.   From the photos I received,  it was pretty evident that they were freaked out.  Jayda was sitting in the kitty litter box in every single photo.    This nearly put me over the edge.

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But what could I do from the USA to help calm my kitties all the way in Singapore?

Facebook.  Yup, I used Facebook.  For all you Facebook haters out there, wait to you hear this story:   Earlier in the year, I joined a closed private group on Facebook for Expat Wives in Singapore.  (if you search for this group, you won’t find it .. you have to be invited to this group).  This group is a topic in itself, which I will post about separately later.  I used this facebook group to see if anyone would be willing to go to the quarantine station to check in on Jazz & Jayda.  And to my surprise,  yes, several women were willing to go out of their way for a complete stranger!  Ultimately, Ellen checked in on the kitties, within 12 hours of their arrival.  She took treats, she sat on the floor with them, calmed them down, and took photos of them for me.  She gave the kids and I such a gift of her time & love for animals & I am so grateful because her assurances that the kitties were healthy and did in fact survive their ordeal calmed the kids down.

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See how much better they look?

Funny thing is, once Ellen & I communicated via email, we were stunned to learn that we both bleed Black & Gold … We are both Pittsburgh girls!!  We went to high schools near each other ( Seneca Valley & North Allegheny)  and at the this very moment, her brother is living in Zelienople, my hometown!!   Of course I made sure she would tell her brother that if he ever needed anything to call on my mayor-of-Zelienople dad!

At this writing, Jazz & Jayda have served 7 of their 30 day mandatory quarantine sentence.  Once we land in Sing,  one of the first things on our to-do list is to visit them.    Then we will find out how truly traumatized they are, and we shall see how willing Trent is to invest in kitty therapy.  Maybe I’ll find a cat whisperer on Facebook too?