So, knowing I am all alone in this big house, the office secretary 'loaned' me her eight month old cat; surprise surprise, this wonderful cat came pregnant! She grew bigger and bigger, and I asked "is it possible she's pregnant?" and Djamilya said "NO, impossible!" - - but, along came three kittens, just the same! :-)
These joyous additions to the household were endless entertainment for me. Moma cat was so sweet and a good mother to them.
One kitten was a little boy and pretty quickly showed interest in his sisters (and mom) so I contacted a vet who, for the equivalent of USD 10, came to the house and neutered him. The kitty was totally out of it for about 24 hours (powerful anaesthetic!) but was fine.
Soon I had the opportunity to go back to the States for a business trip, so I checked around and found a cousin and a family friend who were interested to take some 4-month-old kittens. The chore was then to figure out how to get two kittens out of Uzbekistan with me! It was not easy to figure this out, so I thought I'd share the tips.
First, most airlines now have increased restrictions on travel with pets - especially in the cabin with you. I flew Uzbek Airways and United and, for them, it's legal to carry on two kittens together in an appropriately-sized, hard-sided, under-seat pet carrier IF they're under 5 months old.
Now, flying through Germany (one of the most common transfer points when flying out of UZ is Frankfurt) is just about impossible for an Uzbek-born pet. The Germans require proof of very western-level care/maintenance INCLUDING a subdermal identity chip (AVID or some other brand). These aren't available in Uzbekistan, so count that out.
Flying through Paris is reportedly easier, as is flying through Moscow. For MY trip, we flew through Domodedova (DME) in Moscow, and it worked with the documentation that was supplied in Uzbekistan.
Here's how it goes. Make sure your pets have been vaccinated for all available vaccinations (especially rabies) AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, and at least 6 weeks before departure. Then, within two days of departure, take your pet to the Tashkent main veterinarian station (ask around, you'll need to investigate with a local vet to find out where the international pet travel 'passport' and physical is available), and bring with you two passport-sized color photos of your pet(s) - - ideally, a face shot AND a side-shot of the profile walking or standing. The vet will put both or one inside a special international pet passport (green colored exterior, and it says it's an international vet health certification). The vet will ALSO issue a blue-colored certificate with the complete description of the pet and your name; this is an export document and it is absolutely also required.
The day you are leaving, your pet AND the green-cover international certificate (with the photo inside, and documentation of vaccinations), AND the blue-colored certificate, must be taken to the Tashkent airport's veterinarian. The office is supposed to be 24h staffed, but if I were you I'd stop by during regular daytime hours the day before and make sure they understand you'll be coming through at 3am or whatever it is that your flight departure time requires. That was my case. The vet office has a couch in it, and the officer will just be asleep, so knock HARD. The office is near the souvenir stand under the overpass and close to the staircase going up to the second level departure lounge.
The veterinarian officer will take the green covered booklet, the blue colored certificate, and will look at your pet. For 25,000 Soums, the blue colored certificate will be replaced with an ORANGE colored certificate - - this is what you'll carry with you, with the green-colored booklet, throughout your trip. That proves you've been seen at the airport vet office and approved for international travel.
Most of these steps are time-dependent - - you can't do it early, because there's a restriction that the pet must be certified healthy within 24 or 48 hours (check with the local vet) before departure date.
At Tashkent Airport, you'll be paying for the orange certificate, AND you'll be paying per animal to carry it on to the aircraft. I think it was something like 100 bucks per head, but that changed recently so check it out for yourself by calling the airline.
At the international connecting airport, you'll need to be prepared to get the pet out of the carrier and put the carrier on the x-ray machine, and you'll need to have the documentation (orange colored certificate and the green-cover booklet), and you will also need to pay a fee depending on what airline you transfer to. On United, I needed to use my credit card at the counter to pay the fee for the cats - - again, probably another 100 bucks per head.
The most important thing is to CALL AHEAD to notify ALL your airlines that you'll be carrying a pet and ask for detailed instructions about size of carrier, about costs associated, where and how they will need to be paid, and any documentation that they'll require.
Also, United does not allow pet carriers in 1st Class or Business Class, so you'll be flying coach.
When you arrive in the States, you'll have to go through an agriculture department special checkpoint. If you have a bag of pet food, they'll confiscate it and throw it away - - so just take a small tupperware with a few handfuls of food so your pets won't be uncomfortably hungry.
Sleepless in Tashkent