Many people learned that when I moved to the UAE I brought my cats with me. One of the most prominent questions asked was “how long did they have to be in quarantine for?” Funny thing, they weren’t in quarantine at all, much to my pleasure. This is not to say that all countries do not require pets to be in quarantine as each country is different, but lucky for me, my children didn’t have to be.
Bringing my children with me was hands down one of the most daunting experiences I have ever had, but it was completely worth it.
When I first moved here, I came alone and Cheyne stayed behind in South Africa, which helped a lot because we started the process to bring Brooklyn and Brody with us a bit late. I suppose it doesn’t help that he is the king and I am the queen of procrastination.
First of all I had to find out if pets were allowed to be brought into the UAE, which they are although certain breeds of dogs are not allowed into the UAE, I obviously didn’t have to worry about that (Brody does a pretty good Pitbull stance though). Next up was finding out where to start. Google was my best friend and my worst enemy mainly due to the fact that I was staring at all this information at my fingertips but could not understand any of it. I decided to ask the help of the professionals which saved me from a mental breakdown. I found many companies that help with the process to take your pets with you when you move abroad, getting quotes was my next step.
I went with a company called PETport in South Africa who were absolutely amazing. They sent through a list of things that I needed to get done but by this time I was already in the UAE so I had to rely on Cheyne and my special mother dearest. They both went out of their way to help and make sure the process was smooth sailing. Anyway, the information was an overload for my brain and I honestly just wanted to cry and find a real adult to do it for me. Once I gave myself a good chat I settled down with a notepad and the information I recieved on the computer, I made a list, a short breakdown of what needed to be done in a timeline kind of way. It made all the difference and suddenly 20+ pages settled nicely into 5 or so main points.
- Take children (cats) for Rabies and 3in1 Vaccines (may vary) and have Microchip inserted if it hasn’t already been done.
- Wait 30 days and take children back to the vet to have blood drawn and sent to Onderstepoort for analysis.
- Wait for results and pets can travel after a certain stipulated period of time.
- Organise import permit from the UAE.
- Fill in forms and submit documents that were needed such as passport and arrival address.
Once I had made my own life easier I went on to find an agency in the UAE to help with the import permit and bringing my children into the country. After reading a blog similar to this one but from a different home country I found a brilliant company called the British Vet. They were beyond amazing and responded to all my frantic queries with patience and understanding.
The fact that I had my Mom and Cheyne’s parents to help made everything a little less stressful. They had no problem carting my kids (their grandkids) up and down to the vet to have everything done that needed to be, for them I am very grateful because now I can call Abu Dhabi home, with my little family all together.
So before I carry on, here is some background on my brats.
Brooklyn : Cheyne has had her since she was a kitten, a cruel human abandoned her and her brother in a box. Cheyne then adopted both of them. I came into the picture around 4 years later and Brooklyn and I became soulmates. I saw her curled up on the bed and made the usual noises humans make to lure cats into their cuddling arms, she looked up and ran to me and could not stop rubbing all over me covering me in her fur that is unusually soft. I was smitten, since then we have been attached. I have a shadow and a trip hazard wherever I go. Cheyne began to feel lonely as I always had a Brookles on my lap or napping with me so for his birthday we decided to help another poor fur baby.
Brody : Queen B, we like to call her. She was dropped off at a local pet rescue and the instruction from the owner was to euthanize her. CatsRus did the opposite and gave her plenty love and affection for two years. Sadly because she wasn’t a striking color or a munchkin cat, she was often overlooked. When we saw her we fell in love, she rubbed up on Cheyne and then we knew, she had chosen him. We went through and gave all the other cats and kittens needing a home a bit of love and cuddles and then decided to adopt her. The best decision we could have made, she has brought nothing but love, laughs and scratches and bites into our home. She may be sassy but deep down she loves the forced cuddles and kisses we shower her with.
Brooklyn on the left and Brody on the right. They may look similar but they are complete opposites.
As I was saying before I get carried away with talking about my gorgeous babies.
Once I had everything in order, we booked the flight. My parents had just gotten back from visiting us in the UAE so I planned it around then so my mom could be the taxi for her grand cats. They were collected in the morning and had their final vet checks and their external and internal parasite treatment and then they were loaded onto the flight (I had researched everything to do with their flight, the temperature in the cabin, if they’d have water and food and a comfy pillow, how bumpy it would be, how dark it would be). They were on a night flight with Etihad Airways so I’d be able to collect them in the morning. Did I Sleep? No. Did I track their flight most of the night? Yes.
Unfortunately I was at work by the time we were able to fetch them. Cheyne did the honour of fetching our brats and phoned me in the car on the way home so I could speak to them (if you didn’t already know-yes I am a crazy cat lady). I’m sure you could have guessed, the day was the longest day I had ever experienced. Eventually when I got home and saw them, Brody hid under the bed and Brooklyn rubbed her unusually soft fur all over me just like the first day and my heart was happy. The next couple of days was rather stressful, I was worried about them becoming ill from the stress of traveling. They were checked by the Vet about a week after they arrived and all was good.
Since then, they have been causing havoc in our home and filling our hearts with happiness. We buy them toys yet they find our shoelaces and charging cables tickle their fancy a little more, they have a full bowl of food but yet they think are starving and need more pellets in the bowl to make them look a little more full. They carry little pieces of cat litter through the house so the humans can stand on it 10 minutes after sweeping and mopping.
Brooklyn and Brody are everything to me and if I can relocate them as easy as I did (stressful, but easy) then there is no excuse for anyone relocating to another country or even a different town or province, to take their fur babies with them. You wouldn’t leave you human child behind would you? You make a promise, you keep it, simple as that. We promised that we would look after these two beautiful souls no matter what and so far I think we are doing a pretty good job. It may have cost a little more than spare change but it made us happy and happiness counts more than anything.
Kisses from the brats ❤