Picture Courtesy: Hilary Towle
It’s true; I have brought my cat Valentino (Tino, for short) with me to Nepal. I adopted Tino when he was just one month old in June of 2012. When I was in Kathmandu last summer and fall, I left Tino in the care of my parents and a friend, but missed him dearly. Since I am his “mother” and sole caretaker, I felt the need to take back responsibility and decided to bring him with me when I returned for spring/summer 2016. Since my career will, I hope, have me traveling around quite a bit with the chance of residing in countries other than the US, I figured it was also a good idea to see how Tino coped with long distance travel and getting used to new spaces.
I wasn’t too worried about Tino’s ability to adapt because he and I have moved around the US several times, and he traveled domestically on an airplane three times prior to coming to Nepal. Getting Tino ready for Nepal was not the easiest task, but it also was not as difficult as I had expected. I double-checked the requirements on importing animals for both Nepal and the US so that I knew they would allow him into the country, and then back into the US again when we leave. No problems there. Then I had to schedule a veterinary appointment for him to get some paperwork completed so that the airlines and Nepal knew that he is a fully vaccinated kitty. That was easy. I researched what kinds of food are safe for cats to eat since I cannot buy his normal cat food in Kathmandu. I Googled where to purchase kitty litter in Kathmandu which other expats were helpful in locating. I bought a few other necessary items to make traveling the long distance more comfortable for him, and then off we went!
He was an extremely patient and well-behaved cat for the entire trip. He loves to people watch, so that is how he spent most of his time while were in airports. Once we arrived in Kathmandu, the men at the airport-screening checkpoint thought it was hilarious that I had a cat with me, waved us on through the metal detector, and we were home free!
Anyone who has a pet knows what great lengths humans will go to for his or her beloved four legged family member. I consider Tino no exception. He is my “baby” and I am happy that he can be here with me in Nepal.