Is Sugar one of Schroedinger's cats?

Sugar is the beautimous cat stuffed with awesomesauce whom we’ve grown to love and adore over the past few months.  I thought I’d done everything right with respect to getting her import clearance into Nigeria but I fear that a last minute snag may cause huge problems for me on Wednesday.

All of the documentation I got for Nigeria directed me to begin the pet processing during the last month prior to departure. A checkup is needed 10 days before flying but I also needed to file for import papers from Nigeria.  I went to the vet 3 weeks prior to departure only to learn that the rabies titer (test) takes 6 weeks to process. For whatever reason, there is only one lab in the US that does it and they are severely backlogged.  I pay for the test (~$250) but submit the paperwork to the NIgeria government with the test results listed as pending. Apparently this is sufficient as I receive my import papers for my cat.  I take her back for a second examination within the 10 day window (yes, two physicals within about a week due to the processing requirements) and we submit the forms to the USDA. I’m expecting to get an international certificate from them that will release Sugar to travel on Friday or Saturday.

Monday morning departure comes and I haven’t heard from the vet.

Nothing to do but head to New York and pay the extra fees to get the certificate overnighted to my hotel. I wasn’t expecting to need the certificate to travel between DC and NYC. I was able to get by with the full stack of paperwork I’d kept with me indicating Sugar’s medical history and exam results.

I get to NY and find out that the USDA will not sign off on the international form without the rabies titer results. This is a bit frustrating since I’ve got full documentation of Sugar’s immunization record and health status: this cat doesn’t have rabies. The vet agrees to send me the uncertified certificate with the rabies test results pending and we’ll see what happens.

I’m hoping that this paperwork and the forms I used to get to NYC are sufficient to get on the plan in spite of the lack of a USDA form but I really really don’t know if this possible. There is a very strong (better than 50%) chance that I’m going to get to the airport and they flat out won’t let my cat on the plane. If this happens, I just don’t know what I’m going to do, as I most definitely will be getting on the plane. Hopefully the rumors I’ve heard about a certified form not being required will prove true. I don’t want to have to choose between leaving my pet at the airport and missing my flight.

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1 Comment

  1. Good luck with the papers. I hope Sugar makes it ok. I don’t think I exhaled during the whole trip I took with my dog this spring. I kept thinking some new unknown paperwork would surprise me at the last second.

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