Kai loves rock climbing and loves his bunny sister, Teekup.
We asked her mum, Cetty, to tell us all about him.
Tell us the story about how Kai into your family.
After we lost our cat Tiki, we didn’t know if we were ready to adopt another fur baby. Tiki (15 yr. old) made adopting another kitten or cat a bit hard as he was such a lovable, gentle, playful and unique cat, and we were worried that a new kitten would just remind us of our loss. He was part of our lives. He got along with every cat in the neighborhood, bringing them by our place for “play dates”. He was also our bunny’s big brother and protector. Their bond was indescribable, and they were inseparable. We weren’t sure if our bunny was ready or even willing to accept another cat into her life.
However, almost exactly one year after Tiki past away, we heard from mom (my hubby’s mom), that her friend’s cat had baby kits that needed a home desperately. So, even though it had only been a year since our first cat past away, and part of us still wasn’t ready, we took a chance. We both love and adore animals in all shapes, sizes, and species so we couldn’t just turn a blind eye, instead we decided to give this little kit the best life ever.
But, admittedly, we were still worried about our bunny, Teekup (she got her name because when we adopted her, she could fit into a tea cup, but now I’m not sure she’d fit into a tea POT! Haha.)
The day Kai arrived at our place, we fell in love! His character and behavior was almost identical to Tiki’s (It was actually a bit creepy! We found ourselves questioning the whole reincarnation thing on a few occasions!). Right away, he got along well with her new sister, Teekup and settled in like this had always been his home. Needless to say, we were smitten. As days went by, we decided that Kai would be a trained-leash cat. When he was still seven weeks old, we decided to take him everywhere with us. We took him on a big adventure during his first week, to the Pet Expo. There, he met all kinds of different animals, from geckos to birds to dogs, and he got along perfectly with all of them!
Tell us the story behind Kai's name?
It took us a while to decide what name we wanted for our little adventurous kitten. We wanted to give him a name that would reflect his character. So after a few weeks of getting to know him, we settled on the name “Kai.” Kai is a name in many languages.
In Burmese, Kai means ‘strong’ or ‘unbreakable’.
In Tagalog, Kai is an abbreviated version of the word "kaibigan", which means "friend"
In Swedish, Kai is a male name meaning ‘Rejoice’.
In Greek and Scottish it means ‘fire’ or ‘fireball’.
In Chinese, Kai can have one of several meanings, including ‘triumphant’ or ‘victorious’
In Cornish, Kai means "dog"; appropriate since he acts like one half the time.
In Persia, Kai means ‘Little King,’ and in some parts of West Africa it means ‘King of Kings.’ How fitting for him as he definitely thinks he is the King of the Jungle.
And In Hawaiian and Japanese it means ‘sea,’ or ‘ocean;’ fitting yet again as he loves being around water and isn’t opposed to the occasional dip. In fact, when one of us is in the shower, he will often jump up on the ledge to either watch us (which is creepy!) or join us, (which is also creepy!).
Kai is a very determined cat, since we first got him. When he wants something, he will find a way to get it. He has learned how to open sliding doors by watching us. He has also figured out how to free himself from his harness any time he wants by just standing on his hind legs, pulling backwards and slipping it off like a shirt! Little brat!
But either way, no matter how you cut it, he has definitely earned his name!
What is Kai's favourite thing to do?
He loves riding things… anything it seems, sitting on the bow of the canoe, riding in the basket on the bike, riding on his humans shoulders, or even just getting pushed around in a shopping cart. He also loves car rides and drive-thru coffee shops, and trips to pet friendly stores where he gets to steal all the attention and distract the staff. LOL
But Kai’s favorite thing to do is hiking and exploring! Not just any old boring trail either; it’s got to be hard terrain with lots of trees and rocks to climb! The harder the trails are, the better! While hiking, he LOVES sprinting down the trail and climbing up trees. The running is probably his favorite part, but it can definitely be a challenge to keep up with him! He doesn’t care much for well-manicured or well-maintained trails (the city visits few times a month to make it look super suburban. Haha.) He gets bored easily.
Just recently we introduced him to Rock Climbing! Wow! He took to it like a fish to water! We’re pretty sure rock climbing is his new top favorite thing to do, next we’re going caving!
What kind of adventures does Kai like to go on?
Oh my goodness! Any kind and anywhere!
We hope to definitely take Kai caving (small caves first, to get him use to it), and to WildPlay Obstacle Course here on Vancouver Island! It’s basically an aerial adventure with many elements, such as climbing, ziplining, jumping!
Kai goes where we go! Back of his name tag literally says; “I Go Where They Go!”
Tell us about your most memorable adventure
Too many to mention! LOL!
But a recent event worth mentioning was the time we introduced him to rock climbing! While waiting for mom, he decided to climb up an arbutus tree!
When it was time to go, he was not happy about it. He may have thought it was time to go home. He would not let go of the branch. Instead, he growled like a dog.
Dad finally reassured him the day wasn’t over and there were plenty more trees ahead.
He finally let go! Watch the video on his Instagram or YouTube! It is hilarious!
Why did you decide to train Kai?
Mainly for safety.
We wanted him to be both indoors and outdoors yet experience and explore his surroundings with supervision. We know and understand that outdoor time for cats and any pets is important as to humans, that is why we take Kai on daily adventures, with leash.
It was also important for us to train Kai with command as we take him to a lot of dog parks and pet-friendly stores. When a very excited dog approaches him, a simple ‘sit’ usually keeps him safe between our legs (he’ll sit and wait) or beside us.
We have installed a line in the backyard, so he can roam around without us having to hold his lead and he still has the freedom to roam around, a gigantic arbutus tree to climb and his scratching cat tree!
How did you train Kai?
We never really thought about ‘training’ Kai, until he showed interest of coming along wherever we went, even a short drive to the store.
We took Kai everywhere to expose him to different outdoor settings.
Then we introduced the harness and leash. He took it surprisingly well.
After that, we wanted to see if we could train him to do different commands, such as, ‘sit,’ ‘wait,’ ‘no,’ ‘jump,’ ‘stand,’ ‘high five,’ ‘shake paw.’ We mostly did the command training by using a click trainer and his favourite treats.
We honestly believe there is so much trust between Kai and us (his humans), he let’s us do whatever with him. Kai is very observant and intelligent, so the whole process was unbelievably easy, he trained himself for most part! 😊
What has been the most rewarding part of having a catexplorer?
Taking Kai on adventures and any kind of adventures!
We never dreamt cats were even capable of being this adventurous until Kai came into our lives.
He keeps us in our toes and he is our constant reminder to live life happy and to the fullest filled with endless adventures.
Everyday is an adventure for Kai and for us!
Seeing him accomplish his own goals such as climbing the tallest tree or leaping the biggest rocks makes our heart full!
Seeing Kai socialize with other animals and people is also very rewarding! 😊
What has been the hardest?
Trying to find the balance to take Kai on daily adventures while we both work.
He has gotten accustomed to going everywhere and anywhere with us, leaving him behind has some consequences. The house would be upside down if left at home with his sister bunny. We think it’s his way to let us know he didn’t like being left behind. It almost feels like he’s giving us an ultimatum “Either take me with you or else!”.
Summer time can be hard. Trying to find a way to go on adventures while keeping him cool at the same time can be very challenging. Even though we are very prepared, and we make sure his well-being comes first, you can’t shake the feeling ‘is he going to be okay? Are we bad parents?’
What advice would you give other humans training their catexplorers?
Trust yourself and trust your cat.
Trust plays a huge part with adventuring with Kai. He knows we would never put him in danger and he would try his best to protect us by growling if there is danger ahead (hiking).
And remember, cats can be trained just like dogs! It’s all worth it in the end!
What are your favourite products for Kai?
There’s a few!
His retractable leash which gives him so much freedom.
His Pickle Catnip Toy by Great Choice is his favourite toy by all time. Every time we go to PetSmart, he beelines it to the toy isle and drools over his favorites! LOL
We love his backpacks! PawHut Pet Carrier/Backpack with Rolling Wheel and Removable Support and his smaller pet backpack!
Is there another Catexplorer that inspires you?
There are so many Catexplorers that inspires us! Each one unique, and they inspire us differently in different aspects!