This past week, Jaguar went on a big adventure: she travelled with me from Guatemala to the United States and back!
It was a long 15-hour trip from our house in the jungle to my mom’s house in Connecticut. We started with a 30-minute drive to the airport, then a short flight to Guatemala City. After our layover in Guatemala City, we flew to Newark (NJ), took a shuttle to Grand Central Station in New York City, rode the train to New Haven (CT), and then, finally, drove to my mom’s house. By the evening she was happily purring way at my mom’s house.
The one thing she didn’t like much was the cold! It was about 60 degrees colder in Connecticut than in the jungle, and she shivered while we were riding in the car to my mom’s house until I wrapped her up in my winter coat and held her on my lap. Luckily it is warm in my mom’s house so she was very comfortable for the week we were there.
What amazed me was how adaptable she was during the entire trip. Every thing was completely new to her – the weather, the travel, my mom’s house, the smells, the noises, the people – and she took it all in stride. There were a few times where she would retreat under the bed for half an hour or would sit on the sidelines while she assessed the situation, but for the most part she was right in the middle of everything, participating. I think there is a lesson in there for all of us.
(Hanging out in the bathroom in Guatemala City.)
I was nervous about traveling with her…or, more specifically, I was nervous that I would not be able to bring her back into Guatemala at the end of the trip. One of my friends had told me not to bring her because it would be difficult, and my vet had told me that I would have to bring her to the Embassy while in the States to get special permission to bring her into Guatemala.
That didn’t sound right to me, since Jaguar is a Guatemalan cat. As luck would have it, I was in the new Dollar City store across the street from the airport the day after Thanksgiving and there was an immigration officer there shopping. I explained that I was going on vacation to the United States to visit my mother and that my mother had been telling everyone that she was a grandmother to a cat she’d never met, and that I wanted to bring Jaguar to meet her. (At this point the immigration officer was laughing hysterically.). She told me that I wouldn’t need to do any of the things my vet was telling me and that all I would need would be the copies of the documents to bring her on the plane.
(Blue Mouse, Jaguar’s favorite toy, made the trip with us.)
I relayed this to my vet, who said he wanted to make one call to verify this. He called and spoke to the Agricultural Minister for the entire country! He and the Agricultural Minister had a conversation about Jaguar, which makes me laugh every time I think about it. I mean, in the US, if I called the Agricultural Minister to ask about a cat I would probably either 1) not get through or 2) if I did get through get laughed at or hung up on. Anyway, the Agricultural Minister said it would be no problem bringing her back into the Guatemala from the US, and gave me instructions in case anyone gave me trouble. It ended up being very easy and we made it back without any problems.
(Checking out some of the holiday decor in my mom’s house)
In 2019 I’m going to be traveling a lot more, so I’m thrilled at how well this trip went. I hate leaving her at home, and now that I’ve seen how well she travels, I think she might join me more trips. I might have to get her a passport and sign her up for United’s frequent flyer program! LOL
(Riding in the car on our way back to Guatemala.)
(Top photo: Jaguar seeing her first TV and watching a nature show on…jaguars and other big cats.