Kitsune & Maneki
Kitsune & Maneki are Siberian Forest cat siblings. Kitsune has been adventuring for a while, and Maneki is learning the ropes.
We asked their mum & dad, Jamie & Graham, to tell us all about them.
Tell us the story about how Kitsune & Maneki came into your family.
We adopted both of our cats with the hopes of training them to be catexplorers.
Kitsune came into our lives after she was placed into a home with one of her brothers, that did not end up working out as her brother had far too much of an aggressive personality. She came to us as a traumatized slightly skinny and timid little girl, but a real sweetheart. She has grown so much in her confidence from going on our adventures.
We just got Maneki about a month ago (June 2018) as a companion for Kitsune when we can't be home. Maneki has already become a great addition to the family and helps bring Kitsune out of her shell. Maneki is a natural catexplorer who has a need to explore and climb!
Tell us the story behind Kitsune & Maneki's names?
Kitsune and Maneki are taken from Japanese culture.
Kitsune is a yokai, which are spirits in Japan's folklore. A kitsune is a fox spirit that can bring a family good or bad luck and can "haunt" a family for many generations. Kitsune symbolizes good luck as we are so blessed to have her in our family and that she has found a loving home.
Maneki is taken from maneki-neko, which is the cat spirit that symbolizes good luck and an inviting environment and is literally the "beckoning cat" which you often see figurines of in Asian restaurants and stores. The figurine is typically a white cat with one paw raised, sometimes the paw is motorized and goes up and down in a waving/beckoning motion.
What are Kitsune & Maneki's favourite things to do?
Kitsune and Maneki live to eat, sleep, and explore the outdoors!
What kind of cat adventures do you like to go on?:
Mostly hiking at this point with some occasional long road trips. We hope to introduce them to kayaking and canoeing some day.
Tell us about your most memorable adventure.
Taking Kitsune with us to Missouri and having her swim in the creek was amazing and is one of our most popular videos on our YouTube channel.
Maneki hasn't been on an adventure away from home yet, but it is so fun to watch her climb the big aspen tree in the yard.
Why did you decide to train Kitsune & Maneki?
We have always been outdoorsy people and cat lovers, it seemed natural to combine these interests.
We hate leaving Kitsune at home alone and decided to take her with us when we are out enjoying something that she would also like and we want to make her life as enjoyable as possible.
How did you train Kitsune & Maneki?
Very slowly with Kitsune, it took her quite a while to build up her confidence.
We started with harness and leash training and playing in the yard. Once she was comfortable with that, we slowly went on adventures farther and farther from home for longer and longer distances.
Maneki is a natural so far with a lot of confidence, what she needs to work on is sticking with the group and not going off on her own and taking direction from her pawrents!
What has been the most rewarding part of having a catexplorer?
Seeing the cats in a very raw, wild state when they watch an animal, or assess the situation, and seeing how happy it makes them to be able to experience that and not be cooped up inside 24/7!
What has been the hardest?
The constant whining at the door... Lol, not really.
Dealing with danger is probably the most difficult part of having a catexplorer since being outside is inherently more dangerous than inside, worries about other animals, people, etc., and the cats trying to jailbreak out the front door whenever it opens.
In hindsight, what would you do differently?
I wouldn't change too much, maybe buying a pet carrier backpack for Kitsune much sooner than we had, it's amazing how much we use our backpack and the convenience it affords us on our adventures.
What advice would you give other humans training their catexplorers?
Start as soon as possible and be patient.
Know your cat and their needs - push them to step our of their comfort zones, but not too hard that they are a nervous wreck.
What are your favourite products for your catexplorer?
Our Pet Carrier Backpack!
I feel these are the #1 catexplorer must-have after a good harness and leash, you can take your cat places with you and they don't even have to leave the bag, great for scaredy-cats.
We have a website where we offer these at prices lower than other stores to encourage others to get their cats outside, but we originally got ours from yourcatbackback.com
Is there another catexplorer that inspires you?
@rory_the_amazing @siberian_tales @siberian.diaries @therealgrainydijonmustard @snarfsadventures @wilderness.cat @faridcatexplorer@adventuresofmikeandlily @adventurecatbrothers @remington_the_siberiancat