Meet the Canadian cat that hikes the Rocky Mountains
CTVNews.ca staff, with a report from Alberta Bureau Chief Janet Dirks
Published Saturday, September 28, 2019 10:00PM EDT
TORONTO -- Lazy cats, step aside.
Although some have trained their cats to walk on leashes, Michelle Gagnon has trained her cat Bohdi to do that while on hikes in the Canadian Rockies.
But it was no small feat getting her feline to follow the trails in Alberta communities such as Banff and Canmore. Gagnon said it took “a lot of patience” despite Bodhi's adventurous spirit as a kitten.
“Dogs you know, they're like 'Master, I follow you everywhere, I'll do whatever you say,’” she told CTV News. “Cats you have to convince them that this is what you want to do.”
Gagnon runs an Instagram page showing Bodhi hiking, looking majestic before a picturesque mountain backdrop, paddleboarding and even going for a swim. He’s basically a cat of all seasons.
“Cats adapt but it takes time and each time they get out, they are better,” she explained. Bohdi, who Gagnon calls the gentle giant, is a fairly large Maine Coon cat.
Although Bohdi weighs 6.8 kilograms, he’s fairly small compared to wildlife in the region.
“With lynx around the corner, and cougars and bears and everything -- it slows him down,” she said, describing how Bohdi could sense predators and when he did, remained perfectly still “all of a sudden”
When he’s gripped with fear, Gagnon will carry him around. “His safe spot is on my shoulders,” she told CTV News.
On longer trails, she even goes cycling with Bodhi riding in a special basket.
And whenever she’s out hiking with Bohdi, Gagnon says that it’s not uncommon for her to be asked: “what are you doing with your cat out here?”
She always responds, “Do you know what? My cat likes this as much as your dog.”