Our Himalayan Cats - Moving to America

[Cats]

13th January 1999

It's been months and months since Ruffian was attacked, and we still have to stop Ruffian from ripping her flesh. Maybe she got into the habit and now can't stop. We've given up the sock on the foot. She tears that off in a day. We've tried gaffer tape on her foot. That sparked a new series of that old joke about wrapping a cat in gaffer tape. The gaffer tape trick was successful for a few weeks until she learnt to bite it off. And once she learnt that, she was then able to rip the gaffer tape off within a few days. When we stopped using the gaffer tape, we found that it had stained her fur. So her foot is this ugly dull brownish colour. It'll hopefully wear off in a few months.

While I was away travelling the world in November 1998, Anne had to experiment a bit, and came up with a fairly final solution by putting a sock around her neck with a piece of cardboard stapled to it so she can't scratch under the cardboard. Two months later, this is still in place. I can't understand why she continues to want to rip at her flesh. The hair is mostly grown back, but it offers no protection. Maybe she's very itchy under all the wool and cardboard and just wants a damn good scratch. But we can't afford to let her do that now.

In March, the cats are flying to the USA with Anne, and they have to be checked by vets before and after. If she turns up with a huge red, bloody, pus-riddled sore on the back of her neck, she's not going to be let into the country. So we have to keep her pure and healthy, and that means stopping her scratching. They have to get their rabies shots and a few other things, and then they fly with Anne. If they've had their shots, then there is no quarantine. There's more chances of them catching something while in the USA, than them bringing some dire disease into the USA.

So sometime in March, date not determined yet, Anne arrives at the airport with two cats in cages and hands them over as special excess luggage. We have to book them in specially, so the airline knows that they have to provide oxygen to some part of the lugagge hold. Otherwise we end up with two dead cats at the other end. The cats and their documents get checked when the plane lands at San Francisco, and if they pass that, they get to fly again to Chicago and then Norfolk. And then they get to settle in their new home. I'm hoping that Ruffian will be in such shock at such a huge move, that it will break the scratching cycle and she'll leave her neck alone.

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