🤍 Can you share with us your adoption story? How old is Rover?
Rover was adopted from a shelter in October of 2015, as soon as he was old enough to go to his forever home. We already had a dog at the time, a Miniature American Eskimo named Athena, and we wanted her to have a little buddy. It so happened that Rover needed a buddy as well, and he spent incredible amounts of time around her - playing with her, napping next to her. It only made sense in that situation that in order to strengthen their bond even further, we should take them outdoors together as well, which is when the “adventure lifestyle” kicked in.
🤍 Did he instantly like your outdoor adventures?
Rover was about a year and a half years old before we took him on a first backpack, or as we call it #kittyuber, ride. Because we weren’t certain how he’d react to being outdoors, we put him in a carrier (with some treats) and took him for a walk around the neighborhood. He could see and hear us and feel comforted by that, and simultaneously he could enjoy the sights and the sounds of the outdoors. We continued that practice for some time until he started showing interest in getting out of the backpack to explore on his own. Knowing that (typically) cats aren’t fond of open spaces or random commotion, we took him on a quiet trail. Right from the start it seemed that he felt “at home.” He would see the dog walking up the trail, and he would follow! “A whole new world” just opened up before him and he was loving every second of it!
🤍 How does he react when you’re going on an adventure?
Well, we “ask” Rover if he wants to go outside. We do that by simply showing him the harness and leash and two things happen when he sees them - he’ll either walk to the front door indicating his interest, or he’ll run upstairs into the bedroom. As much as we love taking him with us everywhere we go, sometimes he’s just not up to it, and you have to respect that. :)
🤍 Can you share some tips when hiking with your pet?
A carrier is a must. Anytime we take Rover outdoors, even if he chooses to hike on his own, we always have his carrier with us. Sometimes we’ll come across other hikers, and sometimes they’ll have dogs as well. While Rover is an extremely calm cat, we can’t always be sure that other pets will react the same. If we suspect a dog (or someone else) is heading our way, which Rover will always let us know about by coming to a screeching halt, we’ll immediately put him in the carrier to make him feel safe. Once he’s back in the carrier he can either hide or peek out depending on how comfortable he feels. Most of the time he’s curious about encounters on the trails, but his safety is our priority, so we make sure that he can continue to explore without putting himself in compromising situations.
🤍 Does he have any funny quirks that you can share with us?
He loves sticking his face out the car window when we drive. He truly is a puppy cat!
🤍 What is the naughtiest thing he has done?
Run off from the backyard. Our backyard is the only place he doesn’t have to wear a harness and leash, and sometimes he takes advantage of that by climbing up the fence on going on an “independent” walk. That, however, is our cue that he’s getting restless and is ready for another adventure, and typically within days we’ll try to get him out on a hike. Once he’s gone on a hike with us, he’ll nap all day several days in a row.
🤍 Does he love to be dressed up? And your tips for getting that pawfect pic?
We discovered his “modelling side” by sheer accident; the very first time he did the “catwalk” was in January of 2019. We made a little collar out of toy mice, and sat him down to take a few pictures. Of course, since treats were involved, he could smell that we had a few in our hands. Now, because cats will do what they want, and sometimes you won’t be able to get that perfect shot, we had our camera ready for the pictures, and a cell phone recording the whole process, just in case. It just so happens that as we were taking the pictures, Rover, wearing his mouse necklace, wanting some treats, started walking towards us with the most determined of faces! It was the most adorable sight to see and we were so happy we got a video of it! The internet loved his strut and that gave us an idea to try this again at a later time. A few months after, the final season of Game of Thrones was about to air, and we had an idea of making a little Jon Snow cape for him. Once again, he could only focus on the treats, so he did the most adorable little strut on a mission to get to them. From there on out we knew that we could have him wear just about anything as long as proper “payment” was ready. :)
🤍 What does FriendshipCollar mean to you?
We share an incredible bond with our pets, one that sometimes defies any logic. FriendshipCollar is a way to signify that bond to others, and also letting them know that the love for our own pets isn’t where it stops. The fact that FriendshipCollar donates a part of the proceeds to animals in need is what spoke to us. We may not be able to adopt every animal out there, but we sure can extend a lending “paw” to more than one.
🤍 Do you have tips to keep your home smelling fresh when you have a cat?
Well, we happen to live in a mild climate, so we have the capacity to keep fresh air coming in, most of the time. We do, however, have two self-cleaning litter boxes to help prevent the fumes from the litter box spreading throughout the house. It is especially convenient when we’re gone most of the day at our jobs, or on a short out-of-state trip.
🤍 How is your bestie adjusting to the current quarantine situation?
He could probably do away with all the extra kisses and snuggles, but… he’s the reason why staying at home for weeks on end isn’t all that bad, right? 😻
🤍 Has your bestie made it easier for you to cope during this difficult situation?
Absolutely. He always has been a part time psychologist purring away all our stresses and anxieties! It’s amazing how our pets are able to lighten our mood by simply just being there. Rover may be a puppy cat and a meowdel, but his superpower is making us happy no matter the situation.
🤍 What are your top tips for cat pawrents on helping their cats live a happy, healthy life?
Spend time with them. There are funny stereotypes out there about cats being jerks, always knocking things off counter tops, chewing cables, and borderline swinging from chandeliers. But the reality is cats, just like dogs, act out when they do not receive enough attention from their owners. Playing with them (whatever their favorite toy may be), taking them outdoors (if they like that), giving them treats and catnip, all of those are signs of affection that they understand. When they feel they are important to you, they will reciprocate.
🤍 Complete the sentence. Rover is my best friend because….
...the day he became a part of our family, he took a spot in our lives that only he could fill. He enriched our lives in so many ways, and it is our hope that we will keep doing the same for him! 🥰