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Nature-Lover Explains How She Delights Her Curious Cats By Taking Them Surfing With Her

Nature-Lover Explains How She Delights Her Curious Cats By Taking Them Surfing With Her
Maui and Star surfing (PA Real Life/Collect)

Meet the magnificent felines who are no scaredy cats when it comes to water – loving nothing more than riding the crest of a wave with other surfing dudes on a paddleboard.

Beautiful year-old Bengal cats Maui and Star think surfing with their owner, wellbeing coach Rebecca Darracott, 42, and her scaffolder partner Rex Rimene, 36, is the purr-fect hobby for any self-respecting puss.

When the curious cats are not at the beach, they like hiking along bush trails with their human pals – who record their daily adventures on Instagram, where the felines have built a fan base of more than 6,000 followers.

Rebecca, from Perth, Australia, who first introduced the dynamic duo to surfing in October 2019, takes them to the ocean every day when she is free, saying:

"It was always my ambition to take my cats surfing or paddleboarding."
"I think it's a bit of a myth that cats just like to sit indoors and sleep all day. Of course some do, but a lot of them are into adventure and enjoy being outdoors."
"Maui will walk back and forth over the paddleboard and then stand at the front like the captain. Star is more inclined to stand behind Maui and then dive into the water for a swim."

Maui (PA Real Life/Collect)

“I'm an outdoors person and spend a lot of time at the beach, so I wanted to take my pets. Pets are a great emotional support. I suffer from anxiety and it's helpful to have them there for me, but it also enriches their lives."

First gauging 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 bath up a little bit and Star loved it. She was really interested in the water running from the tap. She was mesmerized and didn't seem fazed when the bath filled up."

Maui and Rebecca (PA Real Life/Collect)

“Maui, who is the younger one, was a bit more hesitant at first, but as he's got older, he's become more courageous and now has no fear."
“From there I took them to the beach, wearing their harnesses to get them used to the water and the noises. We went to a quiet little area, which is more of an estuary, so the waves are not so big."
“With the body board it was just about building up their confidence."

Maui (PA Real Life/Collect)

She added:

“First, I sat them on the board inside their backpack, which has ventilation and which we use for taking them on adventures. Then, when they wanted to come out they could. They would sit on the board and go back and forth."
“Then we put it into the water. Star has more of a fear of open spaces, so she would jump straight in the water for a swim. I think she was heading to the shore."
“My partner is always with me, so there are two of us taking care of the cats. It's quite calm. I would never take them out on big waves, so it's easy for me to stay in control."

Rebecca continued:

“I get such enjoyment from seeing how happy they are and being able to explore and try new things with them."

Rebecca, who previously had a Bengal cat called Boss, who was sadly killed, aged 15 months, when he was hit by a car on Christmas Eve 2018, bought Maui and Star as kittens – picking them because of their spirited temperament.

Born five weeks apart to different mothers at the same breeder's, Rachel said of her pets:

“I wanted cats that had an adventurous spirit and liked people."

Star exploring (PA Real Life/Collect)

“Boss was a bit of a scaredy cat and did not like people too much, so I didn't get the chance to take him out surfing with me, but Maui and Star have no fear," she explained.

“With Maui nothing seems to faze him. He loves to be around people."

“Star is great walking in bushy trails, but not so much in wide spaces where she does have a bit of fear, so I'm trying to build up her confidence."

Maui and Star surfing (PA Real Life/Collect)

She added:

“They have a harness and a lead for when I take them for walks. We have a little backpack that they can see out of, which has ventilation. Then, if they get scared, we can pop them back in the backpack."
“They love being out exploring, whether it's walking, surfing, or going for an adventure in the car. They adapt quickly to most situations."
“I'm planning for my next adventure, once the lockdown has lifted, to take them to a café in Perth."

Maui and Rebecca (PA Real Life/Collect)

She said:

“They get really excited when they know they are going for a walk and if I put the backpack down, Maui will jump into it, because he knows he's going on an adventure."

Rebecca, who is happy to do “anything" with her cats “as long as they enjoy it," has been amazed by how quickly they gathered more than 6,000 followers on Instagram.

She said:

“Their Instagram shows how much cats can do. People think they just sit at home and, while it's true that some cats like being in the house, a lot don't and my two even love water."

“I think Bengal cats have an adventurous spirit. They have a lot of energy and are more like small dogs. They are very adaptable and easier to train than most cats," she continued.

“Anything is possible with them. You just need to put the time and effort into it. When cats see what is available to them outside it really invigorates them."

“I've been contacted by lots of people on Instagram sharing stories of their cats who love surfing and kayaking, too."

Star exploring (PA Real Life/Collect)

Content as long as her cats are happy, Rebecca is the first to admit that she is mad about moggies.

“Seeing them enjoying themselves brings me so much joy," she said.

“I look at them in the same way that I imagine people look at their children. Whenever they do anything I'm like, 'Oh, that's amazing!' It's all so exciting to me."

Maui at Rockingham Foreshore in Perth (PA Real Life/Collect)

“People probably think I'm a crazy cat lady, but that's fine. I'm happy to have that title," she concluded.

“My pets are just great company and I recommend anyone who wants to explore with cat to do so."

Follow their adventures on Instagram: @boss_maui_star_the_bengals.