Milo is a Vegemite and toilet roll lover, who loves adventuring & adventuring safely.
What is Milo's favourite thing to do?
Milo's favourite thing to do is play with toilet rolls cut up into little circles! He plays with them like hockey pucks and will spend a good hour tossing them around the house.
What about his favourite food?
Milo LOVES Vegemite! The first time I found this out was eating my breakfast of Vegemite toast with strawberries (it looked very nice). I was sitting on the floor with Milo in front of the heater and while I was looking the other way he tipped the plate out of my hand! I thought he was just being needy until the next time I made Vegemite toast and I had a bit on my finger and his eyes went wide, he had his 'let me have it' look on and he licked my finger clean. From then on Vegemite has been the ultimate bargaining tool!
Tell us about Milo's adventures
Being a beginner Milo loves to go to quiet places. He loves nature, just not other people yet. Saying that, the quietest place to explore is a lovely rain forest nearby. The first time he went there he walked the whole 1.5 km return circuit! There were trees and roots and rocks and even a stream!
What was your most memorable adventure with Milo?
My most memorable adventure was when we went to a little forest behind our house. There was a large fallen tree that was perfect for climbing (and posing)! That was Milo's first time balancing on a log and he was a natural.
Why did you decide to train Milo to explore with you?
Our late cat, Dazzle, past away two weeks after I got Milo and she always hated driving which made it worse when we had to drive her to the vet when she wasn't feeling well.
Having been a purring motor when I bought him home as a kitten to a crying kitty when I took him to his first vet visit I knew I wanted to train Milo to be comfortable in the car.
I had already harness trained Milo as a kitten so I thought (as he likes exploring our jungle-like yard) an adventure walk after a drive would ease Milo back into driving (positive reward). And so we began our adventuring!
How did you train Milo?
I didn't start Milo off with adventuring in mind.
I harness trained him as a kitten because I thought he might like exploring our yard.
That was difficult in it's own as he would not have any conventional harnesses or collars (a pile of various sizes are buried in a box somewhere).
We were following a cat called @spartacusthesavannahcat who wore a very pretty harness and thought we'd give that one out last try as it was completely different to the store bought ones. After only a couple of weeks of waiting we received our Butterfly Cat Jackets and have never looked back. Within a day of practice he was out and about exploring the yard like a champ!
Where do you go for adventures?
We're in training at the moment and are trying small adventures at areas where there are other people (the park, trails etc).
This may be just waiting in the car and looking out or getting out in the backpack or even going out in the backpack and getting out on the harness.
Milo's calling the shots on that one and I wont push him too far if he isn't into it one day.
Some days I've said 'Right, let's go have an adventure!' and he simply won't go in the carrier. That's a day when we just explore the yard.
What has been most rewarding about exploring with Milo?
Milo has always had beautiful eyes. They were blue when he was little and, while his brother's eyes turned noticeably green, his eyes stayed a tinge of blue (especially in the sunlight)! I'm always looking for the perfect picture of him (but of course he's always perfect, I just can't express that in photos just yet). So, the most rewarding part for me is hopefully improving my photography skills.
Milo always teaches me to be better in everything (including sleeping)! New adventures means a new learning curve.
What has been the hardest?
The hardest part of having a cat in training is seeing him struggle or be scared when other people come by.
It's a rather rushed event where I try and calm him down and get him away from the people via another route or try and get him back in his backpack quickly. I'm still working on training him on where the safe place is (the backpack or me), so hopefully this will become less stressful and in the future maybe more curiosity towards people and less stress.
In hindsight, what would you do differently?
I was so excited to get Milo out exploring I took him out on one of his first adventures with just a harness and lead, no backpack, no safe space.
This turned out to be bad idea as there were and couple of people on the trail which we came across and Milo went the other way but there were people coming that way as well and he freaked out a bit.
We found an old trail to hide in while the people passed but in hindsight I should have started his adventures with a backpack or carrier with me so that he could feel safe if we came across something that he did not like.
Don't rush into adventures, be safe!
What advice would you give other humans training their cats?
You may not be travelling, you may not want a cat to explore with, but train them in all circumstances so they are well adjusted and can cope with anything life throws at them.
Train them to walk in a harness, train them to be comfortable in a carrier, train them to be cool with seeing other people.
Cats can be trained, train them to make your life and theirs easier and less stressful.
Which cats who explore inspire you?
There are so many!
Follow Milo on Instagram: @meetmymilo
As Milo says, when adventuring leave only paw prints.