Einstein was not happy to yet again find himself at the Vet. I had to lift him out of the top kennel door, he absolutely would not come out. Just last weekend he was in for a booster shot and to have a microchip put in place. This wasn’t something I had initially planned on. I already set him up with an online pet profile I could update any time with photos and the latest contact information, including a tag that alerts everyone of it. That seemed like the best option. I also wasn’t sure if a microchip would even be effective or widely used in South Korea.
You can’t just assume the person who finds your pet will know anything about microchips, or even that he has one. Even here in the US not all scanners pick up all microchips. There are more universal scanners now, but some work better than others. In an ideal world, all shelters would be using a universal scanner that works well to check every animal they find. But in reality, not all shelters have universal scanners that work well. Sometimes they’ll have more than one scanner so they can find different chips. Of course, that assumes they have the time and manpower to scan every animal more than once. And scanners also depend on using the right technique to know how and where to scan. Besides that, the chips don’t have a standard frequency they are built to. Europe uses a different one that the US and therefore aren’t picked up unless you have a scanner that covers a wider range. And chips can migrate, so if they’re scanning over the back and it’s migrated to the side, they may not find it.
If he were to get out and get lost there, would they even look?
Most likely he would just get hit or injured because Korean drivers are crazy. John was telling me a story the other day about his horrifying cab ride home speeding down small residential one lane streets which included the cabby hitting and running over someone’s pet cat without much empathy. It saddens and disgusts me that the cabby just shrugged it off after stopping and continued on to hit it again with the back tires. We have pretty much agreed that Einstein will just have to deal with it and become a strictly indoor cat because of this incident. I’m afraid of that happening to Einstein.
Anyway, moving away from that tangent. In the end I decided to get the implant because of the increased regulations for travel for the return trip. I’m sure it’s a requirement for entering the US and South Korea itself is implementing new procedures and requiring it effective January 1, 2013.
The implant went very smoothly. The gage on that needle was fricken huge and made me anxious for him, but Einstein didn’t even flinch. The chip itself is a bit bigger than a long grain of rice. The Dr. had an assistant hold him still so that no animosity would be transferred to me for the ordeal. Not sure if it made any difference. Between that and the booster shot he was ready to go and be back in familiar settings. The whole visit he kept trying to escape and get back in the kennel as if it was the safety zone. Guess that is one good thing and proof that the kennel training has done some good.
He is proving both indulgent and frustrating with his other training. I’ve been taking him out occasionally on a leash since that’s the only way he will be let out of the apartment in Korea. He doesn’t really freak out too much, just acts like a typical cat. Which leads to the frustration on my part. He’s not a dog. He won’t come along if you call him, or walk where you want him to go. He will do his own thing, or just lay down, looking up at you from the far end of the leash. When I’m out with him it’s no problem, but if I leave him tethered at all he gets unhappy and finagles his way out of his harness. I don’t think that will really be a problem since we will be out with him every time. Unless he becomes one of those awesome cats that goes for walkies just like a dog this will be simply for a transition to house training.
There’s just one last visit to the vet coming up this sunday to get his international Health Certificate all filled out and sent off. That visit should go pretty fast and painless. He won’t need any shots or anything. Fill out some papers, mail them off and that’s it!
It’s almost time! I’m excited. This time 2 weeks from now we will both be settled into the apartment in Korea!