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Savannah Yates from Lebanon, Tennessee shared the story about Chico, a stray white cat with beautiful blue eyes. While her mom was vacationing in Mexico, she met the pretty cat, learned he was a stray and decided to bring him home to Tennessee. More on how that came about next.

In the viral TikTok, Yate’s mom holds the kitty on her shoulder in the airport terminal. As she holds him, people walk up to pet the friendly cat. Then, she sits in the waiting area while Chico enjoys some kibble from a plastic bag. 

“Everyone at the airport loved him,” the caption reads. “This is not her first time bringing a stray animal home from Mexico.”

Pretty Chico, white cat with blue eyes

Images and Media via TikTok/savyates_

In further TikToks, we learn mom has rescued many cats, kittens, and dogs in Tennessee, too! 

“Hims name is Chico and we love hims,” the TikTok caption reads.

💖 More Chico, Por Favor! 💖

After sharing the TikTok, it went viral to 21.4M views (so far!), and people started asking for “more Chico toks,” so Yates gave a cute update. Seen at home, the white kitty meows as mom talks in her “kitty voice.” Nearby, we see two other kitties meeting the new family member for the first time.

How They Found Chico

As you might guess, people online had lots of questions about how the mother found the cat. In another TikTok, Yates’s sister Megan explains how they came across the stray.

After the cat approached them, looking starved outside a restaurant, they checked with the business owners. That’s when they learned the cat had been living as a stray for a long time. After getting him vaccinated and fixed with a rescue called Coco’s Animal Welfare Playa Del Carmen, Megan arranged a special flight back to the United States. While boarding, she had to wait almost an hour to get approval from customs.

From the moment of his TikTok debut, the new furry family member became a star, so Yates says she’s considering creating his own page. In the meantime, he’s living the glamourous life, going from the street to having his own cozy Papasan cat bed.

Adopting Pets from Other Countries

It’s great to see that Chico is happy with his new life in Tennessee, but trying to adopt pets from other countries or traveling with them can be fraught with many challenges. Each country will have its own regulations, generally requiring waiting periods, pet passports, microchips, and proof of vaccinations. And, of course, each airline is different regarding traveling with pets, which became more complex after the pandemic.

When arriving at ports of entry in the United States, pet cats are subject to inspection. If a cat appears ill, there may be a required veterinary examination at your expense. In some cases, they could be denied entry, such as when an infectious disease could be transmitted to people.

Instead of bringing a stray pet home from a foreign country, animal welfare organizations suggest donating time or money to shelters or rescues working locally to help them. If you fall in love and want to adopt, it’s best to work through a local registered charity if possible, which is what happened in this case.

Now, Chico is living the life of a Prince.

For some tips about moving with cats, see our tips here.

“Prince chico 👑”

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