Last July, Kayleen VanderRee believed she heard something while throwing trash into a trash can at a park.
She came to a complete halt. The sound was unmistakably that of a cat meowing.
VanderRee stood there watching as a little cat emerged from behind a bush and cautiously approached her. VanderRee told The Dodo, “I coaxed him out and lifted him up.” She then noticed a second kitty. Danielle Gumbley, her best friend, was summoned at that point.
“They had obviously been abandoned,” VanderRee stated. “Because there are a lot of cougars, bears, and eagles in the region, we decided to bring them with us so they wouldn’t get eaten.”
They decided to take the kittens with them on their weekend vacation because their local SPCA facility was closed when they spotted them.
“I simply gave Danielle puppy eyes and said, ‘You have to keep them because I can’t keep them, but you have to,’” says the author. VanderRee remarked. Because she was at college at the time, she was unable to retain them. “We’ll see how they do over the weekend,” Gumbley replied after a little pause.
That’s when their journey began in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and continued to the mountains and lakes beyond. VanderRee’s cat is Keel, while Gumbley’s is Bolt.
The next day, they travelled five hours north to the mountains with some other pals. “We just hung out in our coats,” VanderRee recalled of Bolt and Keel. “They quickly became connected to us and had no qualms about joining us on the journey up. The entire time, Keel purred. They felt at ease once they were on the path.”
Bolt, the fluffy cat, and Keel, the shorthair, are most likely brothers, and when they returned from their first trip, a vet said they were in excellent condition.
Despite the fact that the cats continue to reside with Gumbley, the four are seldom far apart.
“Danielle and I go travelling pretty much every weekend or every other weekend,” VanderRee explained, “so it was crucial to us that the cats fit in with our lifestyle.”
The cats have their own sleeping bags, but they prefer to sleep with or on top of VanderRee and Gumbley. For those outings on the lake, they each have their own leash, harness, and life jacket.
Keel is kinder and enjoys being the center of attention. “If you don’t scratch him, he likes to bite your toes,” VanderRee added. “Bolt is really unconcerned. You may take him wherever you want.”
Hiking, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, and snowshoeing are among their favorite activities. This summer, rock climbing (if they can get the right harnesses) and swimming are on the agenda. Some days, all the cats want to do is be carried. “We can tell when they enjoy or dislike something,” VanderRee added, “so we make sure we’re doing it for the cats and not just forcing them along.”
At home, the cats like hanging out and snuggling as well.
Gumbley spent a lot of time healing at home after tearing two ligaments in her ankles last summer. “The cats were quite helpful,” VanderRee remarked.
She went on to say, “They’ve helped us as much as we’ve helped them.”
Take a look at these fascinating kitties on their adventures: