My previous kitty passed away at 19 years old while I was gone on a trip. The house felt so empty upon my return and I was yearning for the companionship I had known for so long. I have always had kitties in my life, so naturally I was missing the presence immensely. This time, however, I was done with leaving my furry friend behind while I travel for work. As a landscape photographer, much of my work depends on going on hikes and visiting national parks, so I figured maybe I’d give this whole adventure cat thing a try. When Suki was three months old, I began putting the harness on her for a few minutes at a time. It started with a lot of fussing and wobbly steps, but after a few days she realized that the harness meant an ample amount of treats—that’s all the convincing she needed! I really like the Puppia harness since it offers excellent support for longer hikes.
when suki was three months old I began putting a harness on her.
Suki’s first excursion into the big outdoors began with my backyard, and I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a little frightening for Suki. By day three, however, she was already exploring the edge of the neighbours’ yard—and then the real adventures began!
I think one of the most helpful things for training Suki was making sure that each car ride in the beginning was somewhere fun. Try to avoid making the only car trips to the vet, and keep the first few car rides short with many treats involved. I started by taking her to a park that was a five-minute drive away, and she got used to riding in the vehicle really quickly. Another thing that I think is extremely important for adventure cats is staying hydrated while on the trails. This can be tough with cats as they often don’t like to drink water from unusual sources, so what I do is bring Suki’s favourite wet food and mix a smaller than usual portion with two ounces of water several times throughout our hikes. It’s the only way I can get her to drink and it works like a charm!
Suki’s Instagram started out a little slow, but as soon as I began taking her outside for photos it just took off. I am a landscape photographer (@enchanted.forest), so that also gave her page a big boost when I started it out.
We’re moving to Europe for six months in August, and will hopefully visit Plitvice Lakes National Park in Croatia, Cappadocia in Turkey, and Burg Eltz in Germany!
MARTI’S TOP FIVE FAVOURITE PLACES TO TRAVEL WITH SUKI
- Emerald Lake (BC)
- Lake Louise (AB)
- Joshua Tree National Park (CA)
- Dinosaur Provincial Park (AB)
- Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park (AB)
How To Take Better Photos of Your Cat
1. Keep your camera on high-continuous shoot mode. This way your camera will take two or more photos very quickly, so if your kitty moves it should capture the good parts more easily.
2. Bring a small jingly toy or anything that gets your cat’s attention so that you can get her to look up while you are taking photos. I usually bring a toy that Suki never sees unless we are out photographing; that way she isn’t already bored of it.
3. Cats love to sit up high, so I will often place Suki on a larger rock or log and she will just sit down instead of walking away.
4. If you are trying to get close-up face shots, it helps to have someone hold your kitty in a comfortable position. Suki loves to be held with her front paws resting on your shoulder and will stay very still in this position. When your kitty is extremely still it allows your camera to really focus on the macro details.
5. Try to shoot during early morning/sunrise and late evening/sunset. This is when the light is best for preserving detail and soft tones. Shooting at midday often causes harsh shadows and blown out highlights.
Martina’s Harness Recommendations
For an inconspicuous harness that is more for photos, I use the Come With Me Kitty harness. It is very slim but comfortable and doesn’t grab away any attention in the photos.
*Follow along on their adventures at @sukiicat!