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Superstar Best Adventure Cat Bao Zi - Part II

Challenges to Overcome

In Part I, we introduced half Maine Coon cat Bao Zi who is travelling throughout the USA and the world. Today, in Part II, we will delve a bit more into the travelling experiences of Bao Zi. 


Let’s begin with some challenges they have faced along the way. Of course, there are not only beautiful things when travelling. Sometimes Bao Zi and her pawrents Hélène and Alice have to overcome certain difficulties. 


For instance, one of the more serious moments was when Bao Zi got her feet nicked on an escalator at a subway station. She and her pawrents were traumatized but Bao Zi acted like a real cat and was really calm about it. Her pawrents think that because she trusts them implicitly and she was with them, she stayed very still and let them take care of her and bring her to the vet. She remained super calm throughout the bandaging of her feet and has been a real trooper in recovery. She even flew to Paris the next day and her pawrents got a great vet here. 


Something that cracked her pawrents up was that both vets they visited thought Bao Zi had to be a dog when they read the chart about what happened to her. Apparently, it’s a common injury for a dog but they couldn’t believe a cat was capable of taking the subway. 



Training for Outdoors

Like any other cat who is roaming the earth with his or her pawrents, cat walking and travelling didn’t come without any training for Bao Zi. Initially, she used to be a very anxious cat who was afraid of everything. During their first trip, she spent the first couple of days nervous in the car but gradually got used to it. 


In the beginning, Hélène and Alice didn’t want to have a litter box in the car, so they got a harness so she could do her business outside like a dog. She enjoyed walking on the leash during her bathroom outings and eventually, she was the one who started taking Hélene and Alice on walks!


Bao Zi and her pawrents built up different habits together over the years. They always say that she’s the boss of how long she walks but her pawrents are the boss of which directions they walk. For example, if she sits down in the middle of the trail they know she’s over it and wants a ride in the backpack. However, if she starts to wander off the trail, they carry her in their arms for a couple of minutes, so she understands that she only gets walking privileges if she’s going in the right direction on the trail. Bao Zi walks about 1-3 miles (1,6 - 4,8 km) a day.



Superguard of the Traveling Family

One special trait of Bao Zi is that she guards the couple Hélène and Alice during their travels. As two women hiking/traveling alone, they sometimes get nervous, especially when they are off in the American backcountry. Bao Zi helps keep them safe because she can sense when there is an animal or person around before they do. 


If it's a person, she'll start looking in that direction and focusing all her attention so they can tell. If it's an animal in the dog family (i.e. dog or coyote), she'll start hissing in that direction and shaking a little. 


Hélène and Alice scoop her up right away and put her in the backpack. If it's a bobcat, black bear, or weirdly, a deer, she'll start growling and so they know to scoop her up and reach for their bear spray while they figure out what the animal is. Bao Zi may be the smallest member of their family but her super hearing skills keep them safe!


Bao Zi’s Tricks While Hiking

Bao Zi also makes sure Hélène and Alice never get lost in the woods. When they are hiking, she stops every minute or so to scratch a little in the dirt to mark her path so she knows how to get home. If Hélène and Alice try to take a different route home than the one she marked, she stubbornly keeps trying to pull them in the right direction. 


Whenever they are hiking and one of the cat pawrents is lagging, she just sits and waits and refuses to move until the other person catches up. The same thing happens when she is off-leash hiking with Hélène and Alice. She'll walk a little bit ahead but then if they are lagging she just sits and waits and looks back at them until they catch up. 



Bao Zi’s Teaching

When Hélène and Alice first started their American cross-country travels, they were a little fearful of the outdoors. But watching how Bao Zi has overcome her fears while travelling and how many new hobbies she gained has inspired Hélène and Alice to push themselves outside of their comfort zone. 


For example, Hélène used to be really afraid of heights but now they hike on really difficult, technical, steep trails in the mountains all the time. Every time Hélène gets a little nervous, she remembers how happy Bao Zi is doing all of these new hobbies that she used to fear and it reminds her that if she pushes on, she will enjoy herself too. It always works!


You can follow Bao Zi on her Instagram account. Read Part I here and stay tuned for Part III of her travel stories!




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