Edinburgh cat owner chronicles mammoth 1,000-mile odyssey to bring pets to city

An Edinburgh cat owner is embarking on a mammoth 1,637-mile trip traveling by air, sea and rail to bring her to beloved moggies to the capital and set up their new home.

Milly Hollenburg, 28, originally from the Netherlands recently got a new job at the University of Edinburgh as a senior software engineer and was excited to move to the capital.

But she was left in shock when she began to make plans which included transporting her two cats to their new home and discovered it would cost over £6,000.

READ MORE: Scottish woman reunited with long lost cat after it vanished 17 years ago

To avoid paying the extortionate amount that didn’t even include her own travel, she looked at other options available including taking her pets by plane in the cargo but that wasn’t a possibility due to UK laws.

After a couple of stressful days trying to get her adorable cats into Scotland she found the solution which involved a huge journey traveling through the skies, on the sea and by train to get them home.

The trek involves flying first from Helinski to Amsterdam where she and her furry friends will take a ferry to Newcastle, then finally get a train to Edinburgh.

Speaking to Edinburgh Live the devoted cat owner explained: “I recently joined a new team at Unity Technologies in Edinburgh called the Innerspace team as a Senior Software Engineer.

“It would have been doable to do this job remotely from Helsinki but I chose to go to Edinburgh and work directly with the team in person there.

“The language barrier here is quite tough and even though I’ve tried to learn Finnish it’s just too hard for me.

“Planning for the trip definitely took some work, the past two days I’ve been doing that non-stop basically.

“At first I got a quote for around 6200 GBP to transport just my cats to Edinburgh which was outrageously high!”

The 28-year old then had to come up with another option to avoid paying over 6k.

“My first instinct was to do the same things as I did back in 2019 when I moved from The Netherlands to Finland and that was to simply take them with me by plane as cargo.

Misa the 8 year old European Shorthair.
Misa the 8 year old European Shorthair.

“Unfortunately due to the current restrictions by the UK Government it isn’t possible to take them with me as cargo by plane as a private person so that plan fell through.

“My second option was looking for a different company to help me move my cats over and I found 2 that could work together to transport them by air” she added.

Light, a 6 year old European Shorthair.
Light, a 6 year old European Shorthair.

Helena continued: “They would be taking the same trip from Helsinki to Amsterdam to Edinburgh but then handled by a company that was specialized in transporting live animals to the UK.

“This would have come down to a total of roughly €2250 which was a lot better but still quite high as it didn’t include my own ticket.

“My third option, and the one I decided to take, was to instead split the trip up into multiple parts.

“First I’ll take the plane from Helsinki to Amsterdam where they’ll be able to travel in the hold as cargo.

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“Then in the Netherlands I’ll visit my family for a bit and introduce Light and Misa to my parents cat Moosey – that will be interesting for sure as she’s about as brave as Light is.

“Then in the afternoon I’ll get on the ferry to Newcastle where I’ll go through customs the next day with them and then take a train up to Edinburgh.

“The total trip will take three days but the final cost will then be around €1200 which is for both myself and my cats combined.

“Luckily Unity will pay for the trip as part of my relocation package!

“I’ll also need to look into getting a travel litter box for the trip as they’d still need to be able to do their business, that’ll be interesting for sure.”


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