By John Hackworth, Editor of the Englewood Sun
Originally printed in the Englewood Sun on April 23, 2015
Brian and Jenny Port were not looking for a cat.
As a matter of fact, the two residents of the United Kingdom were not even supposed to be in Englewood.
“We flew into Orlando, and I had a bit of a bad back,” Brian Said. “We were supposed to drive up to North Carolina, but we decided not to do it.”
So, the couple, from Winchelsea Beach, East Sussex, spent their February vacation in Englewood.
And, while at the Palm Plaza Englewood Winn-Dixie store, they decided to go next door to the Pet Supermarket to see some animals the Suncoast Humane Society was offering for adoption.
“If we had not gone there, nothing like this would have happened. We were just looking to entertain ourselves,” Brian said.
What happened was the couple fell in love with a black female cat named Little Girl. She and her brother cat Binx had been up for adoption since November 2014.
But a few days later, the Ports were on a plan back to England – without the cats.
“It is quite expensive to fly a cat to England,” Brian said. “It costs more than to fly a human.”
But they couldn’t forget the cute faces and the two cats that had waited so long for a home.
So, earlier this month the adoption team at the Society’s Animal Care Center received a call from the United Kingdom. The Ports wanted to adopt the two cats after learning on the Society’s website that they were still available.
The adoption interview was conducted and approved, and the Ports went to work planning the cats’ travel to their new home in England. Binx and Little Girl had already been microchipped and appropriately vaccinated; however, they had to stay in Suncoast Humane Society’s free roaming cattery for an additional 20 days, to comply with international travel laws applying to pets.
A pet transport company in Fort Lauderdale was contacted and arrangements were made with British Airways to carry the cats to their new family.
“We have experienced many heartwarming adoption stories and had a few long distance relationships. I remember one special situation where one of our dogs went to New York City,” Executive Director Phil Snyder said. “This, however, an adoption from England, is a first.”
And as for the Port’s future with their new pets: “We’re getting up in years. These cats will probably outlive us,” Brian laughed.
The Suncoast Humane Society and Phil Snyder contributed to this article.