As his name suggests, Maple is a sweet boy and he loves hiking in the woods and climbing trees.
We asked his dad, Trevor, to tell us all about them.
Tell us the story about how Maple came into your family.
I had been searching local rescues and shelters for a couple months looking for the right cat to adopt.
Initially, I wanted to adopt a cat that was a little older, but when I saw Meow Village’s post with Maple’s picture, I just had to reach out to see if he was available for adoption. He was too cute!
When I heard back, they said he was already preadopted but if for some reason it didn’t work out, they would contact me.
A couple weeks passed and I figured that was the end of that, but I got a call saying that he was available again and I could apply to adopt him.
I’ll never know why it didn’t work out with his original adopters but I am eternally grateful that Maple was able to come home with me last August.
Tell us the story behind Maple's name?:
He’s named after a donut. A maple glazed donut actually.
His original name was Aster but I had give a name of my own, and he really lived up to his name as he is the absolute sweetest boy ever!
What is your Maple's favourite thing to do?
He loves hiking in the woods, climbing trees at the park and playing with Da Bird when we are at home.
What kind of adventures do you like to go on?
We mostly hike in the woods and visit local parks in and around Portland. There is no shortage of great hikes to do in our area!
Tell us about your most memorable adventure.
Our most memorable adventure was probably our most recent one.
I drove with Maple out towards Mt Hood to hike along the Salmon River and check out some old growth forest. It was the deepest Maple had gone into the woods and he didn’t want to stop hiking even once it was time to head home.
Up until this point most of our hikes have been in the forests in parks in Portland. This was more of a wilderness setting.
Why did you decide to train Maple?
Probably when Maple was was 8 or 9 months old I started thinking about training him to be a catexplorer.
I work a lot and I felt guilty that he’d be stuck at home. But I’m not comfortable with him being an indoor/outdoor cat for a few reasons.
So I figured the next best thing would be to harness train him and to get outdoors where he can explore and experience so much more than just playing with toys indoors.
How did you train your Maple?
I started with just leaving the harness out in the living room.
Eventually I put it on him and made sure to play with him with his favorite toys while he was wearing it. All the while positively reinforcing him with treats as he grew more comfortable with the harness.
Then I attached the leash to the harness and walked around a bit indoors.
The move to outside happened soon thereafter and the rest is history!
What has been the most rewarding part of having a catexplorer?
Watching Maple become more confident and curious with each outdoor experience.
He’s braver than I could have expected and his curiosity about plants and animals is a wonder to observe.
What has been the hardest?
Getting him to enjoy car rides has been the most challenging part.
We need to drive to get to better adventure locations but he doesn’t seem to enjoy the rides unless someone else is with us.
In hindsight, what would you do differently?
The only thing different I would have done would to have started earlier!
What advice would you give other humans training their catexplorers?
Be patient, go at your cats pace in the training and be aware of how they express themselves in each new situation and react accordingly.
Don’t be afraid to encourage new steps forward in the training while being mindful of not making your cat uncomfortable.
Ultimately it is incredibly rewarding and will undoubtedly increase the bond between you and your cat as you share new adventures together.
What are your favourite products for Maple?
Maple like to play with Da Bird, he loves chill in his Scratch Lounger and he LOVES Churu treats.
Is there another Catexplorer that inspires you?
Follow Maple on Instagram (@maplethemews)