Vancouver Island 'adventure cat' skis, bikes and kayaks
Before Michelle Gagnon figured out her that her cat liked playing fetch outside in the snow, Bodhi was a skittish kitten.
“He’d be like, ‘This is kinda scary,’” Michelle says, imagining her cat’s little voice.
Bodhi was also really curious about the outdoors, so Michelle started taking him for walks around the block on a leash.
It took a while for the cat to be comfortable, but once he was: “He wanted to be outside every second of the day,” she says.
So, when that first winter rolled around, Michelle and Bodhi started skiing together.
“I’d say ‘load-up’ and he’d run up to my shoulders,” Michelle says, before showing a video of the cat perched beside her head as she skied down a slope.
That lead to summers filled with hiking up mountains together and cycling long distance together (Michelle was responsible for peddling the bike and patting Bodhi in the front basket).
“Wherever I went, I’d just take him with me,” she smiles.
Michelle started sharing their adventures on land through her "Bodhi the Adventure Cat" Instagram page before introducing him to water.
“He was like a magnet,” she says, re-enacting how drawn he was to the water.
She says Bohdi started pawing the liquid for a while, before walking right in.
“I thought, 'Wow!'” Michelle laughs. “I should buy Bodhi a paddle board!”
So she did. And paddle-boarding together led to what Michelle says is now Bodhi’s favourite activity to do with her — kayaking.
“He just gets to sit there and watch the shoreline and smell the smells,” Michelle smiles, before showing photos of Bodhi perched on the front of the kayak.
The cat also alerts her to passing wildlife, from otters to orcas.
Bodhi often spots creatures Michelle wouldn’t have seen on land too. There are pictures of the cat watching a large ram and a little bear.
“You can’t get anything by a cat,” Michelle says. “They notice everything.”
They also stop to experience everything, all the time.
“Kitty adventuring is not for people who want direct results,” Michelle laughs.
And that, Michelle says — the fact that her cat is not an adrenaline-junky, goal oriented, Type-A adventurer — is the best part about being with Bohdi.
“You have to go with the flow, enjoy your time in nature,” Michelle smiles. “And appreciate all the little things that they show you.”