My wife and I are moving to Edinburgh, Scotland this August. Mrs. Fitzgerald will be attaining a master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Edinburgh Napier and I will continue to teach English as a second language to people from all over the world– while we both simultaneously pursue our dream of becoming published authors. We are leaving everything behind: our families, friends, and our worldly possessions.
But we are taking our cats.
Our cats are our babies, although slightly more furry and less useful than actual children. Our boy is Marcellus Wallace (the beast/sumo-wrestler of the family) and our girl is Kiara Mala. When my wife and I tell people we are bringing our cats with us to Scotland, most of them are taken aback.
Admittedly, it might not be the smartest, nor the most cost-effective, but they are our responsibility. Just as if we had adopted actual children, we would not simply leave them behind.
Undoubtedly, moving abroad is a big deal. It’s the craziest thing I’ve done with my life so far. It might be a gamble in a lot of ways, but we are not willing to roll the dice in regards to our felines. Our cats bring us a sense of peace and pure love that we keep telling ourselves outweighs all of the stuff they have destroyed over the years.
There are many steps in the very complicated process of moving abroad, but the biggest challenge so far has been taking our kits with us. We’ve noticed a definite soft spot for dogs and a prejudice against cats when it comes to international travel. And to top it off, we can’t fly them into the U.K. because animals are not allowed in-cabin. There are too many horror stories of pets being put under the plane and never returning, so that’s not an option for us.
We will be flying into Paris so our cats can be in-cabin with us. Then we are taking the tunnel from France into the U.K. and taking a train north to Edinburgh from there. This way, our cats will be with us the entire time.
Obviously, none of this really helps with our expenses, but it gets our furbabies abroad with us. We might move back in a year, maybe a decade, or maybe never, but no matter where we go, our pets will be with us.
Adam Fitzgerald is a writer and musician based in Michigan. He lives with his wife and two cats in the Metro Detroit area. Adam has worked as a teacher, copywriter, editor and journalist. He is a cofounder and primary songwriter in the Detroit indie rock band Shady Groves and likes to share his passions of art, education and cats with the world through his writing.