When my love came to the Netherlands last year , she took her best friend-till-then with her: Richard, an orange Persian cat. I had tried to talk her out of it, but to no avail. The journey is long and tiring for people, let alone pets. In addition, Richard is a bit older (10 years) and all his life is spent indoors. His only trip in the outside world was a traumatic experience he never needed to repeat again, as far as he was concerned.
But as I said, my love would know nothing of leaving her friend, and I can imagine that, I myself am also adopted by a cat (one does not own a cat, it’s the other way around). So on the day of arrival, I left with a car-owning friend to the airport to pick up my wife and her cat.
Luckily Richard travel with my love in the passenger cabin. Despite that I immediately noticed he was totally stressed. He travelled in a kind of bag, open top, with a collar-chain to prevent him from exploring the aircraft on his own. Fortunately there was no import problem. It proved a lot easier to get Richard into Europe than my wife. The Russian vet was familiar with all the papers and had all the technology in house to make Richard travel-ready. The customs at the airport had no problems. Richards misery was not over yet, the journey to my house awaited and then the encounter with Azrael, the current King-of-the-Hill of my house.
Maybe I should tell something about the relationship between Richard and me. When I stayed with my love, he took an attitude towards me, which can best be described as icy indifference. He could absolutely not appreciate the fact that I took his spot in the bed, but because my love undertook no action against that, he could not change much about it. My attempts at a more friendly relations were not very successful. Usually he let me stroke him a few times, but soon he got up and looked for a different spot. Fortunately there was one at my house Felix, who appreciated me more, especially around dinner time, so if Richard would not unbend I could always find comfort with Azrael.
Arriving home Azrael appeared not to be home, he likely was making the neighborhood unsafe. At home, Richard was finally released. As a righteous cat he was particularly suspicious towards his new environment.
Soon the boss of the house made it clear that he wanted to come inside, it was over with Richards rest, it seemed. Azrael was admitted and did not directly notice another cat was present, because so many new people in the house were incredibly interesting, right? Richard however immediately noticed him and, to my surprise, he lunged for the current master of the house. Said master did not know what was happening to him and stood immediately to the door yelling that he’d had enough and wanted to go into the safe outside world. It took a long time before Richard was sufficiently accustomed to his new surroundings.
He has now completely changed. How his adaptation went, I will tell you another time