If you’re into hiking, you know it’s pretty common to come across fellow hikers with their dogs in tow. Pets are great company when hitting the trails. But what about cats? While a lot of people train their cats to walk on a leash, most of our feline friends stick close to home. That’s not the case, however, for this adventurous woman and her equally intrepid Maine Coon. Michelle Gagnon has trained her cat named Bodhi to be her best adventure buddy. This pair of outdoor enthusiasts is exploring the Canadian Rockies, and it looks like this adventure cat is having the best time.
Michelle noticed Bodhi’s adventurous spirit when he was a small kitten. But even with his naturally active lifestyle, training an adventure cat to hike on a leash wasn’t exactly easy. Michelle told CTV News,
“Dogs you know, they’re like ‘Master, I follow you everywhere, I’ll do whatever you say.’ Cats you have to convince them that this is what you want to do.”
With practice, Bodhi learned to be confident on the trails and hike with his mom. They climb mountains, hike through breathtaking wilderness, and occasionally go paddle boarding in beautiful glacier-fed lakes. And when they’re on longer trips, Michelle rides her bike with her adventure cat lounging in a special basket. They do everything together, and Michelle wouldn’t have it any other way.
As with any grand adventure, however, Bodhi’s hikes aren’t without risk. As a Maine Coon, Bodhi is bigger than the average house cat. But that doesn’t mean he can compete with wild animals like lynx, bears, or mountain lions. Both Michelle and Bodhi are always aware that they might not be alone on a trail.
Bodhi uses his superior sense of smell to be aware of his surroundings. Michelle says every now and then Bodhi will stop walking and refuse to move. That’s when Michelle knows a predator is nearby, and she picks up her adventure cat and carries him for safety. Bodhi’s favorite place to feel safe is right on his mom’s shoulders.
Michelle and Bodhi have enjoyed countless adventures. And when they’re out and exploring, they often come across people surprised to see a cat on a leash. They ask Michelle what she’s doing out in the wilderness with a cat, and she always has the same reply.
“Do you know what? My cat likes this as much as your dog.”
Bodhi has an Instagram full of stunning photos from his adventures. Make sure to check it out!