Wednesday, December 10, 2008

how to move a cat (or dog) to hawai'i

getting freyja to the island was what i perceived to be the biggest challenge in moving here. i didn't chose the most economical, thinking persons route, i did it the hard way. and for those who are curious, here are the steps i took, what they cost, and where they landed kitty and me.
1. read the quarantine manual from the official hawaii website--like most government issued documents, a mess of confusing incomplete information that must be pieced together. i realized her rabies vaccine was overdue and this might destroy all my plans. crossed fingers, hoped for best.
2. made a vet appointment to have her microchipped, blood drawn for the OIE-FAVN rabies titer which must be sent to a lab in kansas, and rabies vaccination update. cost $200. if they give the rabies vaccine before the blood is drawn for the test, a false positive may occur. make sure they do it in the right order, or vaccinate 21 days before drawing the blood. pre-planning makes it all easier, but i would have none of that.
3. showed up at airport with cat. when going through security, you are required to take your animal out of it's carrier and carry it through the metal detector with you. luckily, freyja tends to go into a frozen shell when terrified, so she meekly allowed me to carry her and drag her in and out of the carrier. flew on american airlines to seattle. they don't require any health certificate for flights in the 48 states. i took her in a soft sided carrier in-cabin with me. cost $100 for flight, carrier cost $20.
4. made a reservation with the satellite quarantine station on the big island. otherwise she would have had to stay on oahu in the state facility. i figured she might never forgive me for that. the 'bar king dog kennel' was very helpful in putting together all the loose ends. they make all the arrangements once the animal has arrived at the honolulu airport. had to put a 50% deposit down on the affair. cost $700
5. a health certificate must be obtained within 10 days of travel to hawaii. at this visit, we got a frontline flea treatment, leukemia and parvo vaccine, a general checkup, and an acclimation certificate which states that the animal can withstand periods of cold down to 20 degrees and heat up to 85 degrees, otherwise the airline won't let your animal fly if the temp is out of the federally approved range or whatever. cost $87
6. mailed a packet of paperwork to the honolulu quarantine headquarters. this contained the "dog/cat import form", original health certificate, proof of last 2 rabies vaccinations, and a money order for them. cost $224 plus postage.
7. showed up at airport with cat. this time she had to go in a hard crate because she was going under as luggage. there is currently no airline that flys to hawaii that allows pets in-cabin. in fact, hawaiian airlines was the only carrier i could find that would fly animals at all. again, she had to be taken out of her carrier for them to inspect and metal detect it. she nearly poked her claw through my jugular when the dufus doing the inspection decided to pet and baby-talk her. thanks buddy. cost $225 for flight, carrier cost $34.
8. upon arrival in honolulu, i walked to the airport quarantine holding facility to make sure she survived. they were very kind and helpful. had to say good bye for a few days.
9. waited for the bar-king kennel to call and say she'd arrived. it was two days later. i went right over to see her. she was badly shaken, had her horrified eyes on, and would barely come out of the cave they made for her. i was really sad and all kinds of yappy dogs were shrieking in our ears. i wondered why i did this to her.
10. a week later, she's doing much better. not that she likes the place, but she's tolerating it, eating plenty, and today she PURRED! i really missed that sound. she'll be in the kennel until february 24th. that's less than 3 months which is the best i could do with my limited forsight. the earlier you get the OIE-FAVN test done, the shorter the quarantine. if it's done 4 months in advance, then there is no quarantine, but as you all know, planning is not my forte. cost $642 left to pay before she gets out.

i don't want to add it all up. i know it's insane.


pdurant said...

Is that 4:23 AM posting your time or our time (Eastern)? If it is our time, your dad was in Luke's old room writing a brief then (and beyond) father, like daughter - writing passionately in the night.

I'm glad Freja is doing better but what an ordeal for both of you. I knew it was bad but had no idea how bad, to see it all in one place is astonishing. Guess they don't really want new animal-residents, huh? That's one loved cat.

chris said...

I agree with your mom. And you're a saint.

Heather said...

no matter the cost our babies are worth it.

Anonymous said...

I am looking into taking our puppy and this entry let me know that it is possible. right now it just seems like a logistical nightmere. We will be able to get the blood check 120 days in advance. I am not sure if that quailfys us for the 5-day OR (fingers cross) no day " jail time. :)