Animal Travel Report Cards

There have been a lot of firsts for me this week. The first time I got to skip the customs lines with my diplomatic passport. The first time I lived in a house of my own(ish). And, of course, the first time traveling with pets.

Thus far, Dottie and Nona have been quite spoiled. The 775 square foot apartment in Annapolis is all they’ve ever known as home. The longest car rides we ever took them on were the half-mile trip to the vet. Nothing that would prepare them for spending over 24 hours in their carriers as we lugged them halfway around the world.

Izzie is much more of a road warrior than her feline sisters. The first thing we did with her was stick her in the backseat of the Corolla and drive six hours home from North Carolina. She also was a complete champ on two 14 hour trips to and from Wisconsin last month.

There was no way of knowing how any of them would do on our long journey to Dushanbe. It’s not like I could sit down with them and explain, “this is going to suck for everyone, but if you just relax things will work out ok.” We just had to white-knuckle through everything and roll with the punches.

Here’s how things played out.

Dottie: A+
Baby girl, you rocked it. Not a single moment of terror. Not even when Daddy flipped his luggage cart and had to pull your carrier away from the pile of suitcases cascading down the escalator did you flinch. If only the other two could be so easy.

Izzie: B+
I can only go off what I know for you, Izzie-fizz. The fact that we stuck you in the bottom of a plane not once, but twice and you popped out of there happy and unharmed definitely is grounds for top marks. You also took your crate training to heart and didn’t go potty in the carrier. Only thing keeping you from top marks: must you destroy your puppy pads so thoroughly?

Sidenote: Frankfort International Airport. What is the deal with your tiny elevators!? How are we supposed to get six suitcases and a dog crate from one terminal to another when the elevators are no wider than three feet across?!

Nona: D-
Nona, you are one of the loves of my life but traveling with you was a nightmare. I don’t know where to start. You bit a hole in your brand new carrier in your psychotic attempt to escape. Where were you trying to go?! We were in a steel box 38,000 feet above the Atlantic! I tried letting you out in the bathroom to calm you down but all you wanted to do then was claw my face off. And THEN! You pooped in your carrier. Are you kidding?! You had about 12 hours to take care of that before we got ready to leave and you wait until we are stuck on a plane?! You’re lucky you slept on the second flight, missy-cat.

Really though, the important thing was getting them all here in one piece. I’m glad to say they are happily adjusting to life in Dushanbe. Nona has already found the gap in the kitchen cabinets leading her to the snacks (and subsequently got herself banned from the kitchen), Dottie has a new couch with a new spot, and Izzie is thrilled with all the extra room to chase the cats around.

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