Nanakuli was named before he was born. His would-be owners, Krista Littleton and Alex Gomez, were sitting at the table, joking about getting an orange, one-eyed cat and naming him Nanakuli, meaning “to look blind.”
Shortly after that, the couple came across a three-month old orange kitten that had come to CatFriends as a stray. Due to a bad infection, he was getting an eye removed. Malnourished and fighting infections, some were worried he wouldn’t make it.
But his fate was sealed that day. “In the first month we were concerned that our new friend was not going to make it,” Littleton told Adventure Cats. “We think part of the reason Kuli is so tolerant of water is because he had to have frequent baths due to his messy health issues.”
first time in the water! #catsofinstagram #surfing #KuliTheSurfingCat #surfingcat #gopro @gopro #luckywelivehi @theellenshow #theellenshow #catweek A photo posted by @kulithesurfingcat on
Adventure Cats is an organization that promote outside “adventuring” with our feline housemates. They believe many felines love the enrichment and excitement of being able to go outdoor, safely, with their owners. Their website has many inspirational stories, as well as tips on how you can safely enjoy the outdoors with your cat. You can check them out on Facebook as well.
Kuli not only lived, he thrived. He learned to walk on a leash and harness, and then they took him to the ocean. They let Kuli get used to it slowly, leaving his carrier door open so he could retreat whenever he felt like it. As he got braver, they fitted him with a life jacket and placed him on a surf board.
Sitting progressed to paddling and soon after, they caught their first wave:
“We had been having so much fun playing around in the ocean and training him. Our hopes were really high that he would like surfing, and we really got lucky because he just lays right on the nose of the board with his paws hanging ten.”
Kuli prefers the spongy feel of boogie boards, so Litteton purchased an 8-foot wavestorm foam board for them to use.
“As soon as you grab the leash you can hear him purr,” Gomez said. “He usually shows he is ready to go when he climbs into the beach bag.”
Safety, is of course, paramount, so even though Kuli is a pretty savvy swimmer, he still wears his life vest if the conditions warrant it. And his owners are careful to not take him out if it’s too hot, too windy, or the water is too rough.
Watch the video below Kuli surfing and be sure to follow him on Instagram!
How cool is that? Do you think your cat would surf? Tell us in the comments!
Want tips to teach a cat to surf? Check out AdventureCats.org.