How Far is Too Far? Couple Travels 4,000 Miles to Adopt Cat

More on PawNation: adoption, cats, sparky
Couple Travels 4,000 Miles to Adopt Cat picture

The Rasmussens fell in love with this cat a continent away. Photo: Ryan Evon, Morning Sun

This tomcat really must be the cat's pajamas.

A couple in England became so enamored with a cat they saw on the pet adoption website Petfinder.com that they decided to adopt the feline. No matter that the black and white cat, named Sparky, was located nearly 4,000 miles away on another continent living at the Clare County Animal Shelter in Harrison, Michigan. He resembled the couple's old cat; they had to have him.

"I thought [the shelter] would say 'you guys are completely mad," admits Rose Rasmussen, who along with her husband Chris traveled from suburban London to Harrison (population 2,108 as of the 2000 census) to pick up Sparky. Preparing the cat for his relocation overseas was no easy feat and required a six-month quarantine, along with microchipping, vaccinations, a blood test, and a health certificate.

But the shelter didn't think the Rasmussens were crazy. "When people meet Sparky, and find he has a dynamic personality, they fall in love with him," Clare County Animal Control Director Dave Gendregske told the local Morning Sun newspaper.

No offense to Sparky and his oodles of charm, but isn't the whole thing just a little nutty?

Don't me wrong; the story is sweet. I, too, found my dog Jasper through Petfinder.com. He was with a rescue group in a tiny town in Ohio. I lived in Manhattan. After scouring local shelters and applying to adopt three different small dogs in New York City --- and being rejected each time in favor of someone else --- I decided to open up my search nationwide. That's when I saw Jasper's picture on Petfinder. His description fit what I was looking for in a dog: small enough to travel on a plane, playful but not hyper, and he was low-shedding. Plus, he had a stoic expression in his eyes I found endearing.

"I don't know if you adopt out of your area...," I wrote in an email to the lady in charge of the rescue group, explaining my situation. When, to my shock and delight, she picked me out of thirty adoption applications, I flew to Ohio, rented a car and went to meet my new dog.

My story sounds similiar to the Rasmussens' except for the extent of the miles traveled. I journeyed a few hundred miles for my dog; the Rasmussens a few thousand for their cat. How far is too far?

"I understand traveling to adopt a dog, since breed compatibility is so important," says a colleague. "But a cat? Based on a picture? That is bonkers, and I love cats."

What do you think?

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