Categorized | Open Letters

Open letter to Spain on your Failure to Inform

Posted on 09 May 2012 by American expat!


Dear Spain:

Usually I am pretty happy with your leniency with rules and so forth. In fact this is still something I not only value but enjoy observing – it makes me laugh, it really does. But I wasn’t laughing the other week when I discovered that you failed to notify my that cats do, in fact, need passports to travel.

pet travel in spainI took kitty with me to Italy–never mind why I needed to take a cat to Italy, people do stupider things–but you never said anything when I checked in at the ticket counter. You were only concerned that I paid for my pet, although I have to say your people were all pretty charmed to see a cat being walked through the airport in a handbag. The lady at the ticket counter even tried to stick her hand in to pet kitty, though my concerns with kitty fleeing stopped that from happening and probably saved her from getting a bite on her hand.

No I carried my undocumented cat straight through to security, and walked her under the metal detector in my arms when you x-rayed her bag. And although she cried like a human when the plane took off, there were three screaming children around me (as usual) who were louder than my cat so no one seemed to notice.

It wasn’t a bad experience overall, so I wasn’t prepared for what happened on the return journey to Spain.

Which was that kitty got denied.

Yeah, Spain, I had to leave my cat in freaking Italy for four days, until I could get her the aforementioned cat passport. I’m just grateful that she had a place to stay until I could return to collect her, God knows what Spanish people do with their pets when they try to return home and the foreign airport rejects them. But they probably mysteriously know they need a pet passport, unlike me, who thoroughly checked the airline website, emails, and pet requirements and found nothing indicating any paperwork needed.

On the one hand, your leniency is convenient: I mean getting the cat passport was astonishingly easy-The vet positively enjoyed doing all the backdating and information padding the passport required to validate her return. On the other hand,  it cost me a lot of money and time to retrieve kitty. Arranging her delivery, traveling back and forth, waiting in airports. And kitty showed up at the Italian airport rather traumatized due to the driver delivering her being incapable of conducting a car gently, so it really made the trip back here nerve wracking.

I’m not mad, Spain. In fact I wish Italy were more like you. All I am asking is that you try a little harder to keep me informed, OK?

Now let’s hug it out.



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