How three cats (that’s us!) moved from France to America with their humans — Part 1

Traveling with your furry friend by plane: impossible? Not really.

***This is a long post but you might find it interesting. You have been warned (as opposed to warmed – vocab builder)***

***My human convinced me to make two posts out of it. Although I think that’s because she is a little lazy I also think this is not a bad idea, so part 2 tomorrow***

***Keep reading, there are pics below***

(red, white and blue! Okay… back to the story!)

For those who already know me a little bit, you know that I have two half-brothers and that we were all born in France. We now live in New York state. Which means that, well, yes, we had to travel all the way from France to America.

It isn’t very difficult for us cats to immigrate to America: we just need a human who can immigrate to America (which apparently is more complicated). We had to be vaccinated against rabies, microchipped and to have a passport. Here’s mine:

I’m not showing you the identification (vocab builder) stuff because this is private.

So we had the passport, the vaccine and the microchip already. We also needed to have a certificate of good health from our vet dated from less than one week before we left. Here are pictures of us three going to the vet:

We were then ready to leave with our humans and… take the plane.

My human had convinced her husband to take Grouik with him in the cabin. Of course, there wan’t even a doubt in my human’s mind that I was going with her in the cabin (I trained her well you see).

Unfortunately for Milou, there were two reasons why he had to travel in the baggage hold:
– He was too fat (Don’t laugh! Not funny! Well, okay a little bit),
– The plane would only allow for one small pet to accompany a human, no more.

Not all plane companies allow pets to travel in the cabin and my human did some research to find the best company. Some American companies have actually stopped accepting pets in the cabin due to security issues (yawn). Basically, my human was left with two choices: Air France, the French company, and Lufthansa, the German company.

The problem with Air France was three-fold (vocab builder):
1. They’re known for losing or damaging baggage, my human has even experienced it several times (remember Milou was to travel with the baggage),
2. Although my human says service on board is generally quite good, she said there were other problems such as the staff being on strike (whatever that means) on a regular basis and the humans could not risk being stuck with 5 pieces of luggage and 3 cats at the airport,
3. Finally, the restrictions for the pet’s maximum weight and the maximum size of the bag in which the pet was to travel were stricter with them.

The only problem with Lufthansa was that the trip would be longer since the plane would go from Paris to Frankfurt, Germany, and then only to New York. But we were guaranteed – Grouik and I – to be in the cabin with our humans. So Lufthansa it was.
(I was kind of near the maximum weight – 12 pounds or 6 kilograms – allowed with Air France. Grouik was fine! Grouik is very slim!)

Here is Lufthansa’s policy regarding traveling with your furriends:

Transport of small dogs and cats into the passenger cabin
You may take a dog or cat into the cabin, if the weight of the animal (including transport container) does not exceed eight kilograms. The animal has to be kept in a box measuring not more than
55 cm x 40 cm x 23 cm. You may use your own transport box if it has the necessary measurement and is watertight and bite proof.

This was for us.

As for Milou:

Transport of larger animals in the cargo hold
Animals that cannot be transported inside the cabin will be transported by Lufthansa in appropriate containers in an air-conditioned area of the cargo hold. You may use your own transport container for your animal if it complies with the relevant IATA (International Air Transport Association) regulations. The container must in any case be large enough to ensure that the animal can stand up and has sufficient space to move. Furthermore, containers shall be equipped with a water dish (empty).

It wasn’t difficult to find the right box for Milou but it was a problem to find the bag with just the right size for Grouik and I. It had to fit the required size and no more (because the bag was to be kept under the seat in front of our human, in the cabin). And it had to be not too small for us to feel okay inside of it. We would not be allowed to get out of it for several hours!

Fortunately, the humans found such a bag in America (because they came a little while before us, to prepare everything so that we would feel comfortable when we arrive). Here it is.

And here is me in it:

To be continued tomorrow…

34 thoughts on “How three cats (that’s us!) moved from France to America with their humans — Part 1

  1. Oh wow Texas – this is a great story – I’ve often wondered about the adventure of traveling/moving from France to America for you guys and your humans – I bet it was scary being in a carrying case that long on a noisy airplane….but I guess it probably was even scarier for tubby Milou (!) in the hold. Can’t wait for PART TWO of this adventure! One thing is for sure – we’re GLAD you’re here in the USA!!!

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

  2. This is so interesting to hear about the journey from a cat’s point of view :-) Sounds like your human was a very determined human indeed as many people run screaming from the experience and call us! We’re with you on not using Air France – not cos they’re dangerous – it’s really an attitude thing ;-) Looking forward very much to hearing part 2

    • Well our humans didn’t know you at the time but still I think my human would feel better traveling with us. Geez she was worried about her hundreds of books being “somewhere” between the two continents so if it had been us, I think she would have ended eating too much chocolate to take comfort (purrs and kitty cuddles are healthier).
      Anyway, my human says she thinks she knows what you mean about the attitude thing (whatever you both mean!).

  3. Wow Texas, very interesting post!!!! I didn’t know that animals could be in a cabin with humans if we were under certain weight! Oh no…poor Milou…*whispers* sorry…I laughed a little bit when I read about his weight…pls forgive me.
    And the passport for animals!!!! Wow! Great! Three of you now have passports! How cool! I’m glad you safely arrived in US! :)
    P.S. my mom loves Paris and every year she visits there flying by Air France…..
    Oh dear…..they are well known for lost luggage….have to let mom know it!

  4. I luv-ed reading dat, I did laugh at Milou being too fat !!Yooo’s look super cool in your bad MOL, I heard that critters have to have their own passports. Im’s gonna get one, then I can go on mee Holli-day’s , I might comes and seee’s yooo.BOL :)

    Hugs Daft Mollie xx

  5. I can’t wait to hear the rest and I’m so glad it worked out okay, but I panic when I think of animals in baggage! However, if that’s the way it had to be, then that’s okay!

  6. You all furry brave in traveling , especially “tubby” Milou ^..^, don’t feelz bad Milou, most ov us be traveling wif you in baggage! 2 0v us are Mainecoon kittiez so we Big!! we thinkz da only one to be able to travel wif da beanz would be Ana, she’z tiny ^..^ Dat traveling business soundz pretty scarey!to us. We don’t efen like goin owt da door to da V E T ! ^..^
    Can’t wait fur part 2.
    ^..^ x6 +1 ♥♥xoxo♥♥

  7. Wow, if one of us had to travel cargo on a plane, my human would need a tranquilizer to cope with it! But then, you haven’t gotten that far yet, so maybe your human did too. It sounds like quite an adventure for all of you – and obviously everybody came through it fine because here you are!

  8. Beloved has done a lot of travelling and concurs with Air France!
    Also when she travelled from France to OZ she didn’t have to worry about taking a pet because her first Tibbie had passed on to that great Sausage Sizzle Stall in the sky – but her parents who were going to join her from the UK had to transport a Standard Poodle and a Toy Poodle in the freight compartment.
    As you can imagine they were very concerned because it was such a long flight and their Toy Poodle was about ten years old. Funnily enough she was great through the flight and quarantine, it was the Standard Poodle who pined.
    Glad you could travel with your people, that is how I like to travel, though not in a bag!
    As I am a Tibbie who dislikes enclosed spaces I think Beloved cannot move again for a long time.
    I am sorry for Milou that he was considered large (fat), I too am a little large at the moment so I know what a sensitive topic that can be. I am going to be writing about soon because it makes things harder when there is more of you to love.
    Looking forward to part 2 and seeing the pics of you in that bag I think you are very courageous.

  9. Wow, sweet Texas that looks like a really small bag. Were you able to see out of it? We are sorry Milou had to fly in the baggage hold. We are enjoying this story and looking forward to the next part. Hugs and nose kisses

    • It was small but it couldn’t be bigger :-( We could see a little bit through the bag but not much but I’m not sure we wanted to go what was going on outside. It was really noisy. But it was nice to be able to smell our humans.

  10. Pingback: How three cats (that’s us!) moved from France to America with their humans — Part 2 « Texas, a cat in New York

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