Maui and Star are not like most moggies.
Because these Bengal cats love nothing more than riding a paddle board on top of a wave.
When the inquisitive cats are not on the beach with their owner, welfare coach Rebecca Darracott, 42, and her jetty partner Rex Rimene, 36, they love to walk along bush paths with their human friends.
Rebecca, from Perth, Australia, who first introduced the dynamic duo to surfing in October 2019, takes them to the ocean every day when she’s free and says, “It was always my ambition to get my cats to surf or paddle board .
“I think it’s a bit of a myth that cats just want to sit and sleep all day. Of course some do, but many of them like adventure and enjoy the outdoors.
Maui walks up and down the paddleboard and then stands up front like the captain. Star is more likely to stand behind Maui and then swim in the water.
“I am an outdoorsman and spend a lot of time on the beach so I wanted to bring my pets. Pets are a great emotional support. I have anxiety and it is helpful to have them there for me, but it also enriches their life. “
For the first time probing their reaction to getting wet in the bath, Rebecca was delighted to discover that the Bengals were fascinated by water.
Rebecca said, “I filled the tub a little bit, and Star loved it. She was really interested in the water that ran from the tap. She was mesmerized and did not seem surprised when the bath filled up.
“Maui, the youngest, was a bit hesitant at first, but as he grew older he became more courageous and is no longer afraid.
“From there I took them to the beach and wore their armor to get them used to the water and the sounds. We went to a quiet little area, which is more of an estuary, so the waves aren’t that big.
“The bodyboard was all about building their confidence.”
She added, “I first sat them on the board in their backpack, which has ventilation and with which we take them on an adventure. If they wanted to come out, they could. They sat on the board and went back and forth.
“Then we put it in the water. Star is more afraid of open spaces, so she would jump straight into the water for a swim. I think she went to the coast.
“My partner is always with me, so the two of us take care of the cats. It is quite calm. I would never take them out on big waves so I can easily be in control.
Rebecca continued, “I love seeing how happy they are and discovering and trying new things with them.”
Rebecca, who previously had a Bengal cat named Boss, who unfortunately died at the age of 15 when he was hit by a car on Christmas Eve 2018, bought Maui and Star as kittens and chose them for their spirited temperament.
Rachel was born to several mothers at the same breeder five weeks in a row and said of her pets, “I wanted cats with an adventurous spirit and loved people.”
“The boss was a bit of a frightened cat and didn’t like people very much, so I didn’t get a chance to let him surf, but Maui and Star aren’t afraid,” she explained.
“Nothing seems to bother him in Maui. He loves to be around people.
“Star is great for walking on bushy trails, but not so much in large spaces where she has a little bit of anxiety, so I’m trying to build her confidence.”
She added, “They have a harness and a leash to walk with. We have a little backpack they can look out of that has ventilation. Then if they get scared, we can put them back in the backpack.
“They love to be exploring, be it hiking, surfing or adventure in the car. They adapt quickly to most situations.
“I plan to take my next adventure to a cafe in Perth as soon as the closure is over.”
She said, “They get very excited when they know they are going for a walk and if I put down the backpack Maui will jump in because he knows he’s going on an adventure.”
Rebecca, who likes to do ‘everything’ with her cats ‘as long as they like it’, is amazed at how quickly they’ve amassed over 6,000 followers on Instagram.
She said, “Their Instagram shows how many cats can do. People think they’re just sitting at home and while it’s true that some cats like to be around the house, a lot of them don’t like it and my two even like water.”
“I think Bengal cats have an adventurous spirit. They have a lot of energy and are more like small dogs. They are very flexible and easier to train than most cats, ”she continued.
“Everything is possible with them. You just have to put in the time and effort. When cats see what’s available to them outside, they really get strengthened.
“I’ve been approached by many people on Instagram to share stories about their cats who also enjoy surfing and kayaking.”
As long as her cats are happy, Rebecca is the first to admit she loves moggies.
“Seeing them enjoy themselves gives me so much joy,” she said.
“I look at them the same way I imagine people look at their children. When they do something I love, “Oh, that’s great!” It’s all so exciting to me.
“People probably think I’m a crazy cat lady, but that’s fine. I’m happy with that title,” she concluded.
“My pets are simply great company and I recommend anyone who wants to explore this with cats to do so.”
To follow their adventures on Instagram, search @boss_maui_star_the_bengals