British Columbia

'Adventure Cats' make purr-fect travel companions

Bolt and Keel are always ready to go when adventure is afoot. Or is that "a-paw?" The two cats enjoy going on hiking, kayaking, and even snowshoeing trips with their owners.

Bolt and Keel, rescued as kittens, now go on all kinds of outdoor adventures

Bolt and Keel, the "Adventure Cats," enjoy what appears to be a relaxing trip on a canoe. (@boltandkeel/Instagram)

Try again, ThunderCats.

Sayonara, Samurai Pizza Cats.

The true fearless felines of derring-do and excitement are Bolt and Keel, who have been dubbed "Adventure Cats" by their owners, B.C. outdoor enthusiasts Kayleen VanderRee and Danielle Gumbley.

While most cats are comfortable sleeping or napping or dozing off for much of the day, VanderRee and Gumbley have taken their 10-month old cats hiking, kayaking, and even snowshoeing on Mt. Washington.

"For everything they do, it always takes them a little bit. The first 10 minutes they want to be held, then they're good," VanderRee told All Points West host Robyn Burns. "It's their new normal."

Found abandoned as kittens

Bolt and Keel have been on an adventure their whole lives.

Bolt and Keel on a hiking adventure. (@boltandkeel/Instagram)

VanderRee and Gumbley were hiking when they found them as kittens in June, abandoned behind a garbage can at a park in Sooke, B.C.

"We were planning on taking them to the SPCA, but they were closed," VanderRee said. "So the next day we had a trip planned: camping, hiking, canoeing, in Strathcona park, so we didn't really have much other choice but to bring them with us."

"They were about a month old at the time, and came along with us and fit right into the whole lifestyle."

That two-day trip in the rain saw the kittens perform admirably while carried in jackets and wrapped up in towels, and now they've graduated to going for walks in their leashes and harnesses.

Not 'cat whisperers'

Bolt and Keel are enjoying growing social media fame, as might be expected.

A Reddit post about them got over 1 million views, and they have accounts on many other social media platforms.

"I've been having a lot of fun with it," VanderRee said. "It's pretty much been my childhood dream to follow around cats taking pictures of them."

VanderRee says she and Gumbley aren't "cat whisperers," but they do have some tips for creating adventure cats of your own.

"What has worked for us is starting them young, and patience. A lot of patience."

With files from CBC Radio One's All Points West

All Points West host Robyn Burns (right, not a cat) was very excited to welcome Bolt and Keel to CBC Vancouver Island — along with Kayleen VanderRee and Danielle Gumbley. (Keith Vass/CBC)

To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: Tails and trails: meet the hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing 'Adventure Cats'


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