Hello Alison, and Meike!Pet: Cat Breed: UnsureAge:\r\n3Likes:\r\nBeef treats, tummy rubs, sleeping on mummy’s shoulder at nightDislikes:\r\nDogs, tummy rubs, when mummy rolls over at night (selfish!)Indoor\/Outdoor\r\nPet: IndoorHello girls, Thank you for taking part in our blog today! Would you mind filling us in on some background, When did you first get Mieke? I’ve had Mieke for three years now; I had been\r\nliving on my own for a little while and wanted a pet but didn’t live in a flat\r\nthat was large enough for a dog. At the time I wasn’t a ‘cat person’ because I\r\nhadn’t interacted with many cats and they’d always seemed cold or not\r\naffectionate in my eyes. It didn’t help that when I was little, my dad had told me that\r\nall cats ‘exploded at random’ (to get me to stop asking\/bugging him for a\r\nkitten)…So I was a ‘dog person’ through and through…. But then my friend’s\r\nchild was gifted a gorgeous ginger cat named “Pumpkin” for her 4th birthday and\r\nI fell in love with the little ball of fluff. I was at my local adoption center\r\nthe next week. I was initially there to look at another kitten named Jerry, who\r\nwas very cute and shy - but Mieke (then known as ‘Lulu’) jumped onto my lap,\r\ndug in her claws, and told me (not asked me) to take her home. She’s been with me\r\never since! What made you decide to move from\r\nAustralia to the UK? It must have been a huge decision whether to take Mieke with\r\nyou! I am an Actor\/Writer\/Adventurer and after I had\r\nfinished obtaining my qualification in Acting for Stage and Screen at the\r\nCanberra Academy of Dramatic Art, I wanted to come to the UK to get\r\ninternational Acting experience and training. I’ve had some success, and last\r\nyear was in a number of plays in Canterbury; I was also on an episode of Britain's Worst Serial Killers on Sky Pick - I’m currently auditioning for a\r\nnumber of TV roles, and am collaborating with some other writers for a new\r\noriginal TV series. There was never any question in my mind about whether or\r\nnot to bring Mieke with me on my adventures - although I had many people tell\r\nme I was stupid for wanting to take her! When I adopted her I took that\r\nresponsibility very seriously, I’m her forever home (no matter what country I’m\r\nin). When I said I was moving overseas every single person I told reacted in a\r\nway that involved the assumption that I would get rid of her - I even had\r\nsomeone offer to ‘put her to sleep’ for me so I didn’t have to deal with the\r\nemotional pain of re-homing her! I insisted I was taking her with me and I found\r\na way to make it work. I figured I wasn’t the first person to move overseas\r\nwith a pet, so it can’t be that hard. If other people can do it, so can I.What sort of protocol did you have to\r\ngo through to bring Mieke to the UK? Did she need a pet passport and luggage?\r\nWas it a lengthy process? Did she need jabs\/medication for the flight etc.I decided I wanted to have professionals help me\r\nget Mieke overseas, because I didn’t want to risk filling out paperwork\r\nincorrectly and have her sent back because of a stupid mistake I had made. I\r\ndid a lot of research into different companies and their policies. I found that\r\nmost places do not sedate animals anymore because of how dangerous it is - if\r\nthe animal wakes up mid-flight, they can have a panic attack and die; some\r\nanimals also have long term medical problems as a result of the level of\r\nsedation they’re given. I decided I didn’t want her to be sedated, even though\r\nshe would be scared, because I wanted her to be awake and scared\/stressed out\r\nrather than be put to sleep and potentially never wake up again - or have her\r\nget so scared that she died of a panic attack on her own in the bottom of a\r\nplane without me there\/her knowing I wasn’t too far away. So I hired a company\r\ncalled "JetPets", they gave me a bit of a check list of things to get done before\r\nthe move. She needed a rabies vaccination and a certificate that said she\r\ndefinitely didn’t have rabies and was up to date with her other regular\r\nvaccines. I made sure her worming and flea\/tick doses were up to date as well.\r\nThen a day before I left, someone from "JetPets" came to pick her up in an\r\napproved sized travel crate. I arranged to have her land a few hours before me\r\nso I didn’t have to wait for her paperwork to be processed on the other end.\r\nBecause she was coming out of Australia (which has high bio security laws) she\r\nhad about a 5 minute quarantine period. It wasn’t a lengthy process, I just\r\nmade sure she was up to date with her health and I kept copies of all her\r\npaperwork just in case.How has Mieke found the UK? Has she\r\nacclimatized to the drastic change such as in weather, heat, environment?Well she complained for weeks about the flight. I\r\ncould tell she was stressed and confused, but it was also very sweet that she\r\nfelt less stressed whenever I was around and would snuggle me a lot for\r\ncomfort. She adjusted really well to the climate because she is so fluffy - the\r\nheat and humidity in Australia used to dehydrate her a little. I used to have a\r\ncooling mat that would cool down when pressure was applied to it - so she\r\ncould lay on top of it and keep her belly cool. She also used to drink a LOT of\r\nwater to stay hydrated. Since being in the UK she has been super snugly in the\r\nwinter, but seems really content with the temperature here. She will always\r\ncomplain about something because she’s a cat, but she’s really impressed me\r\nwith how resilient she is.What was Mieke’s first reaction to\r\nthe move? Did her character change?I’ve learned\r\nshe doesn’t respond well to living with other cats or dogs - When I first\r\nadopted Mieke I knew she wasn’t very social with the other kittens in the\r\nadoption center, and because I was living on my own in my flat, other animals\r\nweren’t going to be an issue for her. When I moved to the UK, I found a place\r\nto live in Whitstable with a woman who had two dogs and a cat and a few\r\nchickens - that stressed her out way too much, and way more than I expected.\r\nShe never ‘got used to it’ as I was told she would by most people. “Just give\r\nit time, she just needs to adjust”…. Nope! She would mark her territory a lot\r\nwhen living with other cats, her fur was matted and clearly reflective of her\r\nstress levels, she was really misbehaved and would wake me up more than usual\r\nat night, she also didn’t want to snuggle loads and would hide from me. Now\r\nthat I’ve moved to a flat where she is the only animal, she is REALLY content\r\nand happy!!!She’s also back to her\r\nnormal snugly self. So her reaction wasn’t so much to the international move,\r\nbut more the move in living conditions and quantity of animals in her space -\r\nwhich could have happened in any country really.Did you have to slowly introduce\r\nMieke into British cat products eg food?Thankfully I didn’t need to because I we have\r\nAdvance cat food in Australia, so I was able to get her the same food she used\r\nto have in Australia. It took a little while for me to find it, but that was\r\nmore to do with my own adjustment period than anything else, I was unfamiliar\r\nwith the shops and their stock when I got here. The UK also has ‘Dreamies’\r\ntreats, and Mieke is very happy about that because they were her favourite back\r\nhome in Australia too.Any advice for others who might want\r\nto move country with their pet? Save up your money and get a professional to do it\r\nfor you: It is less stress for you and for the animal. If you don’t fill in\r\nsome paper work correctly, and the animal gets sent back to its origin-airport,\r\nit’ll cost you money and time and stress trying to correct an error that a\r\nprofessional company won’t make because they understand the process better than\r\nyou do. It also means you’re reunited with your fluffy-butt sooner rather than\r\nlater! Also, if you can crash with a friend who is fine with having your pet in\r\ntheir house in your destination-city, that will save you loads of stress in\r\ntrying to find pet-friendly accommodation before you get there. You don’t want\r\nto end up paying too much for a bad space that is pet friendly but not where\r\nyou want to be living. If you’re stressed, your animal will pick up on that\r\ntoo, they’re smart. Best thing I did was crash with a friend who was fine with\r\nhaving Mieke with me while I took my time to find the right kind of\r\naccommodation that worked for both Mieke AND me. If you don’t have anywhere to\r\ncrash for free, look at getting a pet friendly Air BnB for a month and give\r\nyourself time to search for the right place that way. Or, have a friend or\r\nfamily member temporarily look after your fluffy love while you go over first\r\nand set yourself up properly, then send for them. The less stress you\r\nencounter, the better you’ll be able to help your fluffy one. You want to be\r\nable to go to the houses and inspect the space\/meet your housemates rather than\r\ntrusting pictures on a website or emails from strangers. I’m starting to save\r\nto be able to bring Mieke on my next adventure, and I’ve had a friend who said she\r\ncan take care of her while I get myself set up and ready for her. Don’t be\r\nafraid to lean on your friends and family for support - but remember to buy\r\nthem a bottle of something as a thank you and recognise that their help is very\r\nmuch appreciated!!