I was counting down the hours until I could pick up Jazz & Jayda from quarantine. When 10:00 am Wednesday finally arrived, I was at the Sembawang Quarantine Station ready to get my furry babies and bring them home.
We had visited them twice, and each time, both cats seemed to miss us very much. They would jump in our arms, rub on us, meow a lot, Jazz even sat in my purse. The facility was clean, although it did smell a bit. The cats space was very much like a cell … windows on three sides, a ledge, and enough floor space for their kitty litter box. There was enough room for one adult to fit.
Well, when we visited … all five of us squeezed into this room. Imagine the excitement! Cats carrying on, fur flying ( they desperately needed brushing), some allergy sneezing, my tears, and then all the other cats in the facility crying as well. We must have looked like such nut jobs on the video surveillance camera, but we didn’t care!
Anyhow, when I finally had the cats released to me, after signing many papers, I got the kennels into my van, and off we went. After the 30 minute drive home with both of the cats making the most terrifying noises, we arrived at the condo, and after managing to get both kennels in the lift and up to the fourth floor, I opened the doors to the kennel and the cats experienced freedom for the first time since mid-July.
Their reaction? Complete chaos. They freaked out. Ran up and down the hallway, into and out of rooms so fast they were just a black blur. Then they ran right into the closet in the master bedroom and hid in the darkest corner. And refused to come out. When I was able to drag Jazz out, he ran into the bathroom, and cowered under the sink, where he remained for hours. They refused to drink or eat, and they seemed terrified of every little noise.
Can you see him under there? poor Jazz. I decided to lock them in the closet, which was about double the size of their cell, thinking that maybe they needed to gradually get used to big spaces again. They were good with that, remaining quiet and calm for the afternoon, until the kids came home from school. Complete chaos again. Fur flying, cats crying.
Cats crying? You know what I’m talking about … that loud, alien sounding “MERRAOWL!” that give you chills. In our very unfurnished condo, the echos of their crying were unbearable. They never stopped crying. They cried, and cried, and cried. All. Night. Long.
I spent the entire night cradling the cats like newborn babies, trying to get them to calm down. Once finally relaxed and sleeping, I would put them in the back corner of the closet, but as soon as I would walk away, loud crying would begin. This lasted for about 48 hours. By the fourth day, they only cried when I wasn’t in the same room or when they couldn’t find each other.
They have been home now for 6 days, and things have calmed down considerably. Jayda sleeps wrapped around my neck or on my chest. She gets as close as she can to my head at all times. If I leave the room, she follows me like a puppy, always underfoot. When I leave the house, I have to cuddle her to sleep, and then gently put her in the back of the closet, where she now has a nice fluffy pillow-bed. Jazz is also a bit mental … Trent and I once found him cowering and shaking, trying to hid underneath the comforter on Shanes bed.
Each day they get a little more secure, they cry a little less, and with lots of attention and reassurance, I am hopeful they will forget the trauma they endured traveling to Asia.