Meet the cats who go hiking and kayaking with their owners
Moose and Duckie might look like normal cats, but their hobbies are anything but.
Rather than just mooching around the house and perhaps going for a little stalk around the neighbourhood like most cats, they love nothing more than hiking, canoeing, and travelling.
Their owners – 21-year-old Anneka, who works as a dog-walking company manager and as a pasta maker, and 24-year-old Ryanne, who works at a pet shop and a doggy daycare centre after being a US Marine – live in the Seattle in the US, but take the cats on their adventures – with Moose, in particular, taking to being an intrepid daredevil.
The couple originally had a long-distance relationship for a year, meeting when Anneka was going to school in DC and Ryanne was stationed overseas in Japan.
They moved in together after a year, once Ryanne was out of the military and went on to get their two beloved cats.
They told Metro.co.uk: ‘We are Moose’s second owners, his first owner was a friend of mine who was no longer able to take care of him.
‘As for Duckie, her adoption happened so quick! Moose at the time was recovering from an injury prior where he’d gone missing for 3 days, and was on bed rest for the next 6 weeks back in October. (The most stressful weekend of our lives).
‘Moose would spend his days just idly staring out the window or laying on his side. My partner, Ryanne, looks on adoption sites daily for the fun of it, and brought a picture of a tiny little tortie kitten from PAWS’ online website to my attention.
‘Seeing how we didn’t really have any plans that day, we decided to just take a look around the adoption center and met with Duckie for the first time!
‘Her original name was Gingerbread Cookie, in lieu of her beautiful orange and black fur. We instantly fell in love and signed the adoption papers that same day we went to just “look”.
‘We thought it would be a great idea to keep Moose busy on bed rest with a new sibling. It turned out to be the best idea we made for our little family.’
Apparently Moose was already destined to be an adventure cat, and his first owner had already started taking him out on a lead, giving this equipment to Ryanne and Anneka to continue his training.
‘At just 10 weeks old, I put him in a small cat harness just for him to get used to,’ says Anneka.
‘In the beginning he slumped right over and didn’t move, but with him being a kitten still he soon forgot about the harness when it came to play time.
‘We used our apartment complex halls to create a one way stretch for him to walk down and explore on his own.
‘I then attached the leash and held it loosely so it didn’t seem like there was any resistance against him walking. And the rest is history!’
He also goes in a kayak with his owners, and Anneka says he’s completely chilled with watching the world go by from the water, but sneaks down into the boat if he’s feeling anxious or simply can’t be bothered.
Duckie is still getting to grips with the adventure life, so Ryanne and Anneka have been helping her get used to the great outdoors by taking her out in an ‘adventure bag’ or on Ryanne’s back.
She’ll get a chance to do more outdoors when the weather in Seattle picks up, but until then they’re letting her take things at her own pace.
They say, however, ‘she’s definitely taken a liking to outdoors and enjoys watching her brother walk on the forest floors while she keeps dry on the bag.’
It might seem odd to many cat owners how Moose doesn’t run away on their hikes, but Ryanne and Anneka say that neither of the cats has ever made a break for it and are happy to follow them along.
Anneka says: ‘ Our cats have never intentionally run away, aside from darting out the door to just eat some grass in our apartment complex.
‘Moose did go missing for three days due to an injury he sustained while roaming the outdoors on his own. It’s known that cats, if injured, will scurry away to safety to rest until they feel they’re healed enough.
‘Moose was found by our neighbours walking down the street attempting to get back to our house. I immediately picked him up and pulled Ryanne from work to rush him to the hospital.
‘We were both hysteric from searching every night in pitch-black darkness desperately trying to find him.
‘He had a dislocated and fractured hip along with a laceration on his tail. Since then, Moose has made a full recovery and shows that not even an injury will stop him from the adventures that await him.’
The longest hike Moose has done so far has been four hours, and he’s trekked everything from deserts to snowy peaks.
He’s very considerate of the environment, too, and even though he doesn’t have a litter box, he’ll always wait by his business until his owners pick it up.
Anneka says, ‘Duckie, being new to adventuring, took some time before she used the outdoors as her litter box. Exploring the snow-covered grounds, Duckie took 20 minutes until finding the right spot to turn the snow from white to yellow!’