Caturday felid: The sisterhood of the travelling cats

May 21, 2011 • 4:27 am

Here’s our first cat backpacker, or rather backpacked cat.

In 2008, a French couple, Guillaume and Laetitia, left Miami for a hike. Their goal: Tierra del Fuego, on the tip of South America and 15,000 km from Miami. Their restrictions: they had to do it all on foot, and their budget was limited to one Euro per day each!  Two months in, in Lousiana, they found a small gray kitten, which they promptly named Kitty.  Kitty has become part of the trek, and is toted along in a backpack:

The pair (Laetitia bailed out in September) is now in Colombia, and you can follow the adventures of Guillaume and Kitty on the expedition website (note: you’ll have to be able to read French, but if you can’t there are many videos and photos).  There is some dissent about this trek, centering on the advisability of toting a cat along instead of giving it a good home.  And, if they’re only in Colombia after three years (the projected length of the entire hike), the enterprise may have hit a snag.

There are many more videos here, with lots showing Kitty.

And, of course, the journey has a Facebook site.

15 thoughts on “Caturday felid: The sisterhood of the travelling cats

  1. The problem I see is the severe restrictions on carrying live animals across borders. Kitty isn’t vaccinated and is a possible health hazard.

    The EU is introducing pet-passports to reduce the need for quarantine, but I have no idea what South America does.

    1. Are you sure Kitty isn’t vaccinated? I didn’t see anything about vaccinations, but may have just missed it. S/he does appear to receive vet attention. (If my French is as okay as I think it is, it looks like s/he was fixed on 1 June ’10. If my French is less okay than I hope, then, ooops.)

      1. Looks like s/he’s vaccinated and has the EU pet-passport:

        “Kitty a ses papiers en toute légalité donc aucun problème côté douane, (passeport, vaccins, etc.)”

        1. Thanks. I have to admit to making the assumption that nothing had been done, since the cat was picked up while on the road.

          They must have broken that €1 a day budget, though.

  2. When you adopt an animal, you make a commitment to care for it until you, or the animal, are dead. There is no wiggle room in the contract.

    After the hike, he has to keep the cat– Which, based on these pictures, will not be an issue.

  3. The dissenter thinks the sensible alternative was to take Kitty to a shelter, from which she would have been adopted.

    Er…….not necessarily. To say the least.

    1. Yeah… That’s a rather naively optimistic view of animal shelters. Adventure Kitty looks like one heck of a happy and healthy Kitty. Not so sure Shelter Kitty would have worked out as well.

  4. I can see the kind of problems Sili alludes to being a concern. Otherwise–is there any human interest that brings out more insistent, holier-than-thou, dogmatic do-gooders than pet ownership?! That looks like one happy, comfortable (and adorable!) cat to me. I’d suggest the tut-tutters bow out.

  5. I suspect that all cats would not have the personality for trekking. This cat is not one of them.

    Once, when we were in the Alps, a kitten followed us up the trail from a village so far that we had no choice but to keep the kitten as he (his name for the day was Jake) was too tired to continue and too far from home. We circled on back eventually and dropped him off in the village, but I was intrigued at how happy he was when we were hiking.

    1. I think I have told you about Sodium Silicate, Michelle. He used to ride on my shoulders to the supermarket and to just go for walks.

      He travelled across the Nullabor with us for 2¼ days and we smuggled him into the Travel Lodge room in Perth when we arrived:-) He behaved perfectly (of course!)

      He would have recognised Adventure Kitty as one of a select group of kittehs and given him a high five!!

      1. Great stories, Michelle and Veronique! And V, do tell–how did Sodium Silicate get his name? (And did he have a nickname?)

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