Here
and
Now

opinions

Flying with a cat to Tokyo

51 Comments

The woman behind the desk at the Air Canada check-in counter took my passport, glanced at the photo page and then down at my carry-on bag from which a pair of gleaming yellow-green eyes could be seen.

“Do you have any documentation for your cat?” she inquired.

When I’d first moved to Japan, I’d stayed in dormitory accommodation for the first month, before moving to my own apartment and waiting a further two months for my possessions to be shipped across from Canada. Since managing this with a pet would be difficult, I’d left my cat, Tallis, with friends (bless them both!) back in Canada until I was settled. That time had now come and I had returned to North America on a business trip and to take my cat to her new home.

At the airport attendant’s request, I lifted a thick black folder and dropped it with a bang on the counter, where it dwarfed the small red passport in her hands.

“… right.” The woman hesitated before saying cautiously, “Is there a form that shows they’re expecting you?“

I gathered from the singular choice of the word "form" she wasn’t after one of my three complete document copies that I had been advised to prepare by the vet. Pity. As it stood, I wasn’t going to be able to fit a drink bottle into my bag. Snapping open the folder’s elastic, I withdrew the sheet I had been sent from Tokyo Narita Quarantine Services, stating that my application to import a cat had been received. The Chinese lady working at the counter next to ours leaned over to take a peak.

“I can read some of the characters,” she said with interest as she examined the Japanese-half of the bilingual script.

This apparently was enough proof that the document hadn’t been forged, or maybe simply sufficient for the airline to declare it not-their-problem. I understood their concern; like the UK, Japan is a rabies-free country. This means that their regulations concerning the import of animals are extremely strict. Once, this would have meant a non-negotiable six months quarantine (the time required for a rabies infection to show symptoms) but with the use of microchips to guarantee animal identification, this could all be bypassed with enough preparation… providing you had to right paperwork.

Tallis and I had been on one flight before, when I moved from Florida to Canada. While only a measly three hours compared to the 13 we were about to attempt, it had left me with some assurance that Tallis was likely to deal with it all relatively well. Unlike everyone else I talked to, I was not concerned about her causing a yowling scene on the plane. This was primarily for three reasons:

-- I have a certain disregard for humanity. -- Planes are pretty noisy and Tallis doesn’t have a very loud voice. -- ONE CRYING BABY and I was home and dry. No one talks about throwing an infant out the plane, though quite why is something of a mystery.

Once in Tokyo, we had an overnight stop before going onto Sapporo for which I had booked Tallis into the airport pet kennels. Originally, I had done this because quarantine services threatened to take up to 12 hours even with the finest of leather-bond paperwork. On reflection, however, I realised a stop to stretch gave us both a much needed rest.

By far the most unforgivable event occurred a mere 10 minutes later as we approached security. Seeing what I was carrying, the airport staff waved me into a different line.

“Please take your doggy over there.“

…. doggy?! DOGGY? I walked over to the designated line and pulled out a very ruffled and indignant cat, putting the cat carrier on the conveyer belt to go through the x-ray scanner solo.

“Is she vicious?” One of the security staff asked as they saw her struggle.

Well she didn’t used to be until you CALLED HER A BITCH. I plopped the cat over my shoulder and went through the scanner with a curt shake of my head. Humph. We went and sat in the airport lounge where Tallis chose to sit enthroned on my knee and be petted by the surrounding masses. Since I’d wanted Tallis the have the chance to stretch outside the cat carrier when possible, I’d purchased a cat harness to retain some control over the situation. This proved most useful when we went into the public restrooms at the airports we travelled through. Inside a cubicle, I was able to let Tallis out, but she had a habit of peering under the door … and the neighboring partitions. Fortunately, any time this was spotted it was greeted with exclaims of “Oooh, a cute kitty!” even if “Argh, a perverted kitty!” would have been a more appropriate response.

Amusingly, this greeting translated exactly into “Oooh, kawaii neko-chan!” by the time we reach Tokyo. It was lovely to be reminded that despite cultural differences, people are still very much alike.

And after that … everything went entirely smoothly. The flight was packed but my neighbors were nice, cat-loving types who didn’t mind me sitting with the carrier on my lap after take-off (during take-off and landing, the carrier must be under the seat in front). While she didn’t use them, I had lined the cat carrier with a puppy pad against accidents, and changing this a few times during the flight freshened up the container.

It also made me appreciate exactly how small a aeroplane toilet is. There truly is not enough room to swing a cat. Trust me. When we arrived in Tokyo, I headed off to use the bathroom before approaching the quarantine desk, thinking I would be a while. While not a wasted gesture, this proved completely unnecessary since we were cleared for entry in a staggeringly short five minutes.

I owe my vet’s clinic a suitcase full of lucky waving cats, since it was their incredible organization on the paperwork that made this possible. Indeed, the worst part of the whole journey (apart from the bit where Tallis was called a dog) came the following day on our short hop up to Sapporo.

For this trip, Tallis was not allowed to travel in the cabin but had to go in the hold. This seems to be universally true for all Japanese domestic flights. When she was returned to me, she was wet all through and smelled terrible, which suggested she had been far more frightened on that short leg than at any point on our round the world jaunt.

That notwithstanding, she recovered fast and vocally protested the remainder of our journey to my apartment.

“Meow meow meow!!“

“Look, we’re nearly there!“

“MEOW MEOW MEOW” You’ve been saying that for DAYS.

Well… yes, but this time it was true. Adorably, there was no doubt Tallis knew she was home. Perhaps she recognzed the furniture, maybe the smell of me was enough or she might have reached the stage where she was prepared to adopted any non-crate room as her home. Whatever the reason, she ran around the apartment then fell on her water as if she hadn’t drank in days.

Which admittedly she had not, but it was NOT BECAUSE SHE HADN’T HAD THE OPPORTUNITY. She’d just shunned any cup I’d placed in her carrier. My sympathy was limited.

I collapsed on the sofa. In all honesty, before this trip I’d been anxious about the wisdom of my decision to bring Tallis to Japan. Was it truly fair to take a pet on such a long journey? Should I have tried to find Tallis a new home in Canada? Now though, I can honestly say I’d do it again. The secret is an early start, since the paperwork takes the best part of a year to complete (minimum 6-8 months) but with the right assistance, it was actually a painless process.

“Meow!“

“… You’ve gone in the bathtub haven’t you?“

© Japan Today

©2022 GPlusMedia Inc.

51 Comments
Login to comment

An entertaining read - thank you. How terrible that they have to travel in the hold for domestic flights. Is that all animals?

I really should get my cat chipped, in the event of travel. Who knows anything about getting that done in Japan?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I would just like to point out that with animals it is not always a simple case of "like or don't like." Some people have terrible allergies. I think a lot of people are either unaware of it or don't care. In my opinion all animals should be put in the "hold." Make it as luxurious as you want down there for them. Also, comparing screaming babies and pets makes no sense to me at all.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

@Maria

get my cat chipped, in the event of travel. Who knows anything about getting that done in Japan?

When I was thinking of taking my dog to France, his vet told me they could do it - for 10 000 yen... and that it should be done several months before leaving the country.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks for that info FightingViking. 10,000 is reasonable, if that's the standard rate. (Vets tend to charge what they want.)

I might ask around.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Maria, you'd do well to ask around. I had my cat and dog done for ¥5000 apiece, standard rate in these parts (the sticks).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Cute story, thanks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nice story, would've liked more details on the legality, chips, etc. I can't believe you took your cat out in the airport. For one thing, my cat would panic and flee, and for another, I would think the airport would have rules about it.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Air Canada, they let the animals in the cabin ? They have no animal cabin ? Well, one airline to avoid. I wouldn't want to be seated between Justin Bieber and his monkey.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

It is true about pets going into the luggage compartment on domestic flights. It is very traumatic for them as they are loaded from beneath the plane and the engine noise is terrible prior to loading. After a one hour Kansai to Kyushu flight my cat took three days to start eating....he was petrified by it. Since then I take ferries etc. it is much less of a worry.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

friendly cove- right on. allergies not only come in the form of sniffles, but the dander given off by animals can also cause very bad asthma in some people. now put them together on a 13 hr plane ride with the recycled air and its going to be a nightmare for that person. the narcissism of the people who subject the rest of the airplane to their pets is unbelievable.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

the narcissism of the people who subject the rest of the airplane to their pets is unbelievable.

Not narcissism, just understandable concern for the wellbeing of their animal. I can appreciate the plight of the person with allergies, but sticking an animal in the hold and scaring it out of its skin is beyond the pale. If the animal is kept in its cage, there should be no dander getting into the air system anyway.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Why do so many cat lovers/owners have neurotic tendencies? A dog lover/owner would have made this trip with one tenth of the unnecessary drama. A recounting of an experience like this should at least leave the reader better off for having read it but this one was only mildly amusing at best and long on anecdotal melodrama and short on any practical or helpful info. This article should have been left as is, as a blog entry on an uneventful trip that evidently went pretty much without incident, and not picked up as an opinion piece on a news site like JT.

Elizabeth keeps her own blog about day to day exploits in the hope that writing them down will result in them one day making sense.

Sorry, but this unfortunately wasn't that day...

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

both 803 and cleo are right I think

an animal is not a "narcissistic" item, it is a living being, like your own child, that you have a/ feel a very big responsibility to take care of. however, that said, you do have to take into account other ppl. If I had a kid who was mentally disabled and threw things and shouted, I would be careful where I took them, for sure, so as not to cause probs for other ppl.

But a cat in a cage with a cover over it, how much of an allergic reaction is that going to cause? Are there no ways to put them in business class, with a separate air filter?

It is just another problem that has to be solved, not someone's "fault".

3 ( +5 / -2 )

—I have a certain disregard for humanity. —Planes are pretty noisy and Tallis doesn’t have a very loud voice. —ONE CRYING BABY and I was home and dry. No one talks about throwing an infant out the plane, though quite why is something of a mystery.

It was lovely to be reminded that despite cultural differences, people are still very much alike.

i.e. That you don't like them? I will be honest that I felt very uncomfortable reading this article. Difficult to pinpoint, but just sounded selfish overall.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Not narcissism, just understandable concern for the wellbeing of their animal.

an animal is not a "narcissistic" item, it is a living being, like your own child

the pet owners are narcissistic because they lack empathy for other passengers while caring only about their cat and their neurosis. and these comparisons of animals and people have to stop. am i the only one who would throw a million kittens in a river to save one human baby?

0 ( +4 / -4 )

am i the only one who would throw a million kittens in a river to save one human baby?

How come every 'some people like animals and some don't' line of discussion always deteriorates into either animals or babies having to die? Having a cat in a covered cage in an aeroplane cabin doesn't kill any people. It's a stupid, hysterical comparison.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It's a stupid, hysterical comparison.

its not a comparison at all. its stating my own feelings and asking if anyone agrees. why would i say the comparisons have to stop and then compare them? your use of absoulets is a stupid, hysterical way of making a point. besides, its not a question of liking or disliking animals, its about an animals comfort not being as important as a humans health.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

its not a comparison at all.

You're comparing the life of a human baby with the lives of a million kittens, which in the context of one cat in a cage on a plane is totally over the top and hysterical. No babies are being saved as a result of drowning any kittens, or vice versa.

its about an animals comfort not being as important as a humans health

And the point is being made that carrying the animal responsibly in a covered cage poses no threat to human health.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Poor Elizabeth Tasker just wanted to write a light-hearted yet informative piece about her journey with her cat.

A journey which entailed much preparation, a fair bit of cost and, I would imagine loads of worry and stress before and during said journey.

She thought sharing her experience might be amusing, maybe even helpful and encouraging to those people who had no idea whether / how travelling with a pet could be done, or what it entailed. People like me.

And you rowdy rabble come here and complain about her opinions, her choice of pet, her writing style, and even her very character.

For shame.

Before you attack someone so blithely and uncouthly, consider how you (or your family or friends) would feel in her place, to be slammed down so meanly.

Why don't you go away, write an article - about anything you like! go ahead and go wild! - and submit it here.

I'm sure JT would find room to publish it, and we your audience would find time to pick it apart - the content, the style, the grammar, the whole bally lot! - and read into it things you had not meant or even considered.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

the pet owners are narcissistic because they lack empathy for other passengers while caring only about their cat and their neurosis.

Only their neurosis. Now she is a member of the new "Mile High Club " , so she has some passionating dinner party story : "Dear Duchess of Perlaminouze, let me tell you : I flew with my cat...". The author doesn't seem to care about her cat in general, only about of fun of flying with a cat. With the standard "animal flight", no difference for the animal, as it's also being in a cage inside a noisy plane, but she wouldn't have had the cat on her lap. For the rest, whenever she doesn't need the living toy, it can stay months at friends', and when she is in a hurry, she prefers checking in the cat as a luggage to to fly Tokyo-Sapporo instead of driving.

sticking an animal in the hold and scaring it out of its skin is beyond the pale.

The author just did that.

But a cat in a cage with a cover over it, how much of an allergic reaction is that going to cause? Are there no ways to put them in business class, with a separate air filter?

There is a way to put the cat in an animal compartment (like 99% of pets that travel overseas). Letting them in the cabin has not the least interest for the animals, and all the possible discomfort for other passengers. Now if we take your solution, that means the pet owner will book the whole business class to stay there with the pet and pay the cost of a filter ? Or the P.O expects everybody to guess there might be cats on board so if they have allergies/asthma or fear of toxoplasmosis for pregnant women (that may get contaminated before they are aware of pregnancy)... they should book the whole business class and filter, and they should pay for it ?

How come every 'some people like animals and some don't' line of discussion always deteriorates into either animals or babies having to die?

I dunno, but now that you say it.... We should ask to Ms Tasker is it's having a cat that makes her write and publish : "No one talks about throwing an infant out the plane, though quite why is something of a mystery.". It's obvious that's on that she was selected by JT for the "diner de con" column, more than for the boring cat and plane story.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

fine, i said the lives of a million kittens arent equal to the life of a baby as a response to statements like this:

No one talks about throwing an infant out the plane, though quite why is something of a mystery.

comparing cats to babies and wondering why they arent thrown out of airplanes? why arent you indignant about this? and where did the idea of a cover for the cage come from? did she mention she had one? i have seen dogs on peoples laps on airplanes and even walking in the aisles. it doesnt take much for dander to get in the air. a quick shake and it can spread very easily.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Letting them in the cabin has not the least interest for the animals

In a cage with the owner nearby providing assurance that everything is OK, as opposed to in a cage alone in an unfamiliar, scary, noisy environment, with no assurance that this hell is ever going to end or that the owner is going to reappear?

I guess you're not an animal owner? (I hope you're not...)

Why do so many cat lovers/owners have neurotic tendencies? A dog lover/owner would have made this trip with one tenth of the unnecessary drama

As the owner of a cat and a dog, I'd say cats find this kind of experience harder to handle. The cat is more neurotic, and that makes the owner more neurotic about the cat. Dogs tend to bounce better.

And, well said, Maria.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Before you attack someone so blithely and uncouthly, consider how you (or your family or friends) would feel in her place, to be slammed down so meanly.

first, im not just talking about her, but every one who subjects asthmatics to 13 hours of misery out of pure selfishness. second, the only ones who think is mean are home schooled, only children.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

first, im not just talking about her, but every one who subjects asthmatics to 13 hours of misery out of pure selfishness. second, the only ones who think is mean are home schooled, only children.

If I understood what any of that meant, I would try to reply.

I can only say that you seem to have whipped this arbitrary number of 13 hours out of the air like so much made-up nonsense, and are trying to pretend it is relevant, but it isn't.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

While only a measly three hours compared to the 13 we were about to attempt,

yeah, pretty arbitrary number pulled right out of the article when she explains how long her flight is. cmon maria, read first, type second

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You're quite right, 8093. That part is indeed in the article.

It was the planeful of angry asthmatics that you have made up. Didn't whip them out of the air did you?

And thank you, Cleo - you are also blessed with an excellent way with words.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

it doesnt it have to be a planeful. one is enough. you really think its impossible for "tallis" to be seated next to someone with an allergy?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I really think it's impossible for someone with cat allergies or asthma to have to remain seated next to a passenger travelling with a cat, unless you're travelling on some bone-rattling bucket airline, in which case cats are among the least of your worries.

If the airline (which is notified well in advance that there will be a cat aboard - just as they are notified about babies and thus know to have a bassinet and baby food prepared) doesn't ask you at check-in whether you are able to be in the vicinity of a cat, seats you next to or near one, and then refuses to moves you at your request citing medical emergency, then they are the ones you should be angry with, the meanies.

And you do seem angry.

Have you had such an unhappy experience, yourself, 80393?

But perhaps you cannot even be on the same airplane as a cat? I hear that asthma is something young people can grow out of. I hope you do.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

where do you draw the line maria? cats? birds? rats? reptiles? monkeys? who are you to say which ones deserve preferential treatment?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

That's a strange and irrelevant question, because that's not what this article is about. This is about one cat's tail and one owner's tale of one journey between two cities.

I do hope you're not trying to collect info on the animal-smuggling racket. That's inhumane and illegal and I would have to report you to the authorities.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

But a cat in a cage with a cover over it, how much of an allergic reaction is that going to cause?

I have known people for whom this would cause an asthma attack that could be life threatening. Only humans should be in the cabin. I realized this sounds cruel, but I think human passengers should come first in this case.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Poor Elizabeth Tasker just wanted to write a light-hearted yet informative piece about her journey with her cat.

Er, Maria - Hmm. OK, light hearted might be an OK description, but also viewing the human race with disdain. The AC check in staff who DARED to ask for paperwork, the Chinese staff who gave the OK, the airline - who's problem it wasn't, her "certain disregard for humanity", her views on throwing babies out of planes, obvious dislike of security staff, who clearly need to loo inside every cage to determine the breed and sex of animals BEFORE allowing people to queue up to be processed, dislike of toilet sizes on airplanes, blah, blah, blah.

You can look at life two ways (maybe more) but I definitely prefer the positive side better. She mentioned the suitcase full of lucky cats she should give to the vet back home - agreed! Because the vet seems to have done the real hard work of gathering all the documentation and registration so the cat had a smooth passage. The leather bound file that gets referred to. That sounds like a mountain that could be a good story. Dissing officials and the employees in the sense they should perform better, or should know ALL of your details in advance is a bit unfair, unless you think you are the only one on the plane that day.

Anyway - hope the cat has got over jetlag and settled down. I actually do like cats. I think the author is probably a lovely person at heart too, but I just didn't like this article.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

—I have a certain disregard for humanity.

I often observe that animal lovers are people haters.

That's why I try to avoid these animal loving weirdos.

God forbid that I'm ever next to one on a long flight, especially if she or she has a pet.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Being an athsmatic myself

Are you an asthmatic whose asthma is triggered by an allergy to cats? If not, your post is not speaking to the issue I brought up.

But a flake or two of cat dander floating around in a trans-continental-use airplane's air system isn't going to cause anyone any attacks.

Anyone? Not even someone sitting next to, in front of or behind the cat? You are mistaken. For some, being in close proximity to an animal they are allergic to can cause serious difficulties.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Not narcissism, just understandable concern for the wellbeing of their animal.

an animal is not a "narcissistic" item, it is a living being, like your own child

the pet owners are narcissistic because they lack empathy for other passengers while caring only about their cat and their neurosis. and these comparisons of animals and people have to stop. am i the only one who would throw a million kittens in a river to save one human baby?

803-

I guess you have never had a pet. Since they are alive, and you have to take care of them. they are really like having a child. I don't know why you want to compare anonymous babies and kittens in a dramatic and hard to imagine postulation. There are millions of stray cats living around me. I cruelly pass them by every day in their disease and desperation without taking them to vets, giving them food, or comfort or anything else. Once in awhile I will play with them though.

But what I am talking about is my pets. My pets are little creatures that run about and get scared and happy about all sorts of things every day much like little children, if on a somewhat lower evolutionary level. If I don't give them water and food in a timely manner they will get sick or starve. If I don't clean their toilet, they live in squalor. They are my responsibility. They aren't anyone else's responsibility and I chose it, so I wouldn't want to inconvenience anyone unduly with them. (Altho, living in a society, as we do, I am inconvenienced daily by those around me and do my best to grin and get on with things when I can. I would hope others might do the same for me if I had a problem with my pets).

I assume the writer of this article feels the same way about her pet and was worried about travelling with it. As you would if you had a pet or a baby. Doing that in public society is something we have to be careful of.

As for your 300 cats and one baby, I really can't answer. Do the 300 kittens have a fatal disease comunicable to humans? They should be put to sleep soon. Is the baby Adolf Hitler? That might give me pause. It is really a meaningless comparison to make.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Whatever the reason, by default setting an international flight is animal free. If they make special "owner+pet flights", like there are the "pet mansions", "pet hotel rooms" and "pet cafes" now in Japan, that's OK. I won't go there and I won't complain.

If the airline doesn't ask you at check-in whether you are able to be in the vicinity of a cat,

Wait, that's before I book a ticket that they have to tell me if it is a cattle car . I wouldn't pay so much. Another thing is some people don't want to be in a room with a dog for their religion.

Dissing officials and the employees in the sense they should perform better, or should know ALL of your details in advance is a bit unfair, unless you think you are the only one on the plane that day.

That's the attitude of the article. And Maria, Lowly, etc... at the end, they tell you that the over 99% that don't carry pets in the plane (and may own pets or not) should prepare their trip and even not board in case they may bother the pet-in-box person.

It's really easy to tell here who has owned pets and who hasn't.

Yes ? I've had many cats, I was a kind of breeder, raising a dozen every year. Cleo had only one for a year maybe. That doesn't make me want to fly with cats. I've had pigs too. You want to travel on Porky Airlines ?

I guess you're not an animal owner? (I hope you're not...)

I lack the experience of keeping my cats jailed in a house till they become neurotic. I let you the monopoly of projecting weird human feelings on animals...

The cat is more neurotic,

I never had a neurotic cat. If they are not taken away from their mother too young and let time to take their marks freely in their environment, they are very independent and resilient animals. They are automatically adapting to "wild life" if they have to. They tend to be courageous and go through accidents of life on their own... Old people even had a saying "a cat has 7 lives" for that reason. One of my cat had an accident : she fell into the highest silo nearby and was trapped in it during 2 months. When she was freed, she was furious during 2 hours... then she came back. As a comparison, my Mum was trapped in an elevator 2 hours, and she was furious during 2 months. The neighbor's cat loved taking naps on the car's engine, and he new that. Usually the first buzz of the motor would warn the feline in time. One morning, the neighbor left in a hurry and the cat didn't wake up to jump away, then it was inside the car's motor till it stopped, after 3 hours. As he refilled gas, he heard "meow !" and felt someone was pulling his trousers leg. The cat spent the day on the back seat cleaning his fur with a few burnt bits. Fortunately, my mother has not been through that. Just to say how badly the average cats handle hurdles.

In a cage with the owner nearby providing assurance that everything is OK, as opposed to in a cage alone in an unfamiliar, scary, noisy environment,

Maybe the owner feels the cat provides her assurance...

with no assurance that this hell is ever going to end or that the owner is going to reappear?

The loving slave-owner that recuperates her after 2 months of abandon ? She can be glad the cat even accepts to get near her again. Oh well, the jailed cat is not given a choice.

Being an asthmatic myself,

Is this equivalent to a PhD of medicine ? You say what for toxmosplasmosis, religion and people that simply find that pets in boxes stink ?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I guess you have never had a pet. Since they are alive, and you have to take care of them. they are really like having a child.

i guess you have never had a child

Being an athsmatic myself, I have to say that this statement and 80393's diatribes are nearly rubbish.

thats brilliant professor. nice to hear from an expert on every ones personal medical conditions

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Cos -

I never had a neurotic cat. If they are not taken away from their mother too young and let time to take their marks freely in their environment, they are very independent and resilient animals.

Your English is very good but it's obviously not your mother tongue, and you tend to misconstrue important bits. Saying that a cat tends to be more neurotic than a dog does not mean the cat is actually clinically neurotic or constantly at a high level of anxiety. if I say Johnny is five years old. Tommy is six years old. Tommy is older than Johnny, would you assume that Tommy at the tender age of six was senile? No.

Your stories of cats falling into silos and being trapped in car engines sound to me like good reasons to keep kitty safe indoors.

80393

i guess you have never had a child

Lots of people manage to get their heads (and hearts) around being able to love their kids and their critters. It doesn't have to be either-or.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Lots of people manage to get their heads (and hearts) around being able to love their kids and their critters. It doesn't have to be either-or.

I understand what you were saying. But, if your child had a severe allergy to a pet you owned, you would get rid of the pet over your child, right? If your child had a severe allergy to an animal, you would support your child's right to sit on a plane over an animal's, wouldn't you?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

But, if your child had a severe allergy to a pet you owned, you would get rid of the pet over your child, right?

No, I would not get rid of the animal. If it were truly impossible for the two to live together, I would rehome it.

If your child had a severe allergy to an animal, you would support your child's right to sit on a plane over an animal's, wouldn't you?

If the child had such a severe allergy to anything that caused his or her daily life to be affected to to extent that he could not function normally, then I would be pestering the doctors to do something about it. Avoiding all animals everywhere all the time is simply not practicable, nor would I want to subject any child of mine to a critterless existence.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If it were truly impossible for the two to live together, I would rehome it.

Sorry, by 'get rid' I did mean rehome. However, you agree your children would come first.

then I would be pestering the doctors to do something about it.

There are medicines that help to a certain degree, but avoiding the allergens seems to be the best solution for such individuals.

nor would I want to subject any child of mine to a critterless existence.

Even if it endangered their heatlh? Severe allergies that trigger asthma attacks cannot be wished away. Anyway, avoiding all animals on an airplane should be a no-brainer, because they should not be in the cabin. It is reasonable to expect this. Children and other humans should come first. I realize it sounds cruel, but I think it is reasonable in this case.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Whether or not your actual child would come first before your pet is not really a pertinent issue. It is easy enough to answer that question.

But what we are talking about here is what to do about taking your pet with you out into public society, and while I agree you have to be careful about others' feelings and situations, I also do not think it is realistic to expect that all animals will be kept away from you at all times, just because you don't like them. And the fact is that, to the owner, a pet is not just a thing, it is alive, and very important.

Allergies, especially anything extreme, necessitate mutual disclosure, I believe. And by that I mean that while, especially for common and sometimes deadly ones like peanut allergies, the existance of peanuts in a dish should be made known, the person with the allergy has the responsibility to make their condition known and take responsibility for doing things in a way that won't get themself sick. Have a peanut allergy? Always ask and never eat the dish if there's a doubt. Have a severe animal allergy? Always ask if pets are admitted to the hotel/ cafe/ airplane you would like to use. At the end of the day, it is your health.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

it's been a long time since i saw a pack of peanuts on an airplane

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

it's been a long time since i saw a pack of peanuts on an airplane

It doesn't have to be a pack of peanuts. Those with a peanut allergy need to be aware that peanuts may be contained in cereals, biscuits, chocolate, baked goods, candies, ethnic foods, etc.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I also do not think it is realistic to expect that all animals will be kept away from you at all times,

I think it is reasonable and realistic to expect this on an airplane though. Animals should not be in the cabin. I am deeply surprised Air Canada allows this. It is not a selling point. Another point, we are not talking about one animal, because if one is allowed that means more can be allowed. In the uniquely closed off environment that is a plane, I think it is not the place for animals that can cause other people medical distress. People should come first.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Animals should not be in the cabin. I am deeply surprised Air Canada allows this. It is not a selling point.

If I needed to transport one of my animals, I would see it as a very strong selling point.

we are not talking about one animal, because if one is allowed that means more can be allowed

Not necessarily. Dunno if it's the same today, but when I lived in the UK dogs were allowed to travel on buses, but only one at a time and at the discretion of the conductor/driver, ie if there's already one dog on board, you're out of luck. No reason the same idea could not be applied on an aeroplane.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I heard somewhere a while back that the airlines which do allow a pet on board, limit the number to one per flight.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

No reason the same idea could not be applied on an aeroplane.

I can think of one: You cannot open a window on a plane.

You are probably right about the one only policy. I think this is going to come back to bite the airline at some point though.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It turns out Air Canada have been doing this a bit longer than you have been thinking about it. here's an informative link:

http://www.aircanada.com/en/travelinfo/airport/baggage/pets.html#faq:3-*

From which:

We are sensitive to the concerns of allergy sufferers, and we understand that some of our customers may not wish to be seated too close to a cat or small dog during their flight. For this reason, we ask that, if you are an allergy sufferer, you advise the check-in agent or gate agent prior to your flight departure to ensure you are not next to a customer travelling with a pet. We will make reasonable efforts to move you or the pet and pet owner.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hi everyone -- I actually didn't realise my post had been republished over on Japan Today! Maria is absolutely right, I did mean this to be a light hearted piece that hopefully shared some information. Just to be absolutely clear, I would never honestly contemplate throwing a baby out of a plane! I'm sorry for offending anyone.

If anyone like Maria would like to read a little more factual article about taking a pet abroad, I wrote a follow up piece to this one listing 10 points of advice over on GaijinPot: http://injapan.gaijinpot.com/live/coming-to-japan/2013/06/05/how-to-pack-a-cat-10-tips-for-taking-your-pet-abroad/

Safe travels all~

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites