Poring over my textbooks late one night, I was trying to cram in as much information as possible.
It was March 2014, and I was studying to become an engineer.
But, spending so many hours tied to my desk each day, I started to feel lonely.
If only I had someone to keep me company, I thought.
Growing up, I’d always loved spending time with my family cats.
So, I decided to head to my local animal shelter to give a cat a second chance at life.
When I arrived, I was overwhelmed by how many animals had been abandoned by their previous owners.
I wish I could take you all home, I thought.
But there was one little kitten in particular who wouldn’t leave my side.
Rubbing her head and body on my legs, she was affectionate from the start.
Talking to the employees, I learned the six-month-old tabby had been found abandoned at a bus stop.
‘You’re safe now,’ I told her, holding her in my arms.
Naming her Cathode – a scientific term related to electrical currents – I couldn’t wait to take good care of her.
Back at my apartment that night, Cathode was very curious about her new surroundings.
Before long, though, she had made herself at home snuggling up to me in bed.
Within a few days, Cathode had settled in nicely and was constantly by my side. Whether she was calmly sitting on my lap, or asleep on my desk as
I worked, it was clear she felt most comfortable whenever I was close by.
My constant shadow, Cathode followed me everywhere I went – including the bathroom!
One night, she even jumped into the tub with me.
‘So much for privacy!’ I laughed.
While most cats don’t tend to like water, Cathode didn’t mind it.
She also loved being carried around in my arms like a baby.
She thinks I’m her mum, I realised.
It didn’t bother me – I was just happy that she felt safe and secure.
I couldn’t help but feel guilty, however, whenever I left home to exercise.
So, one day, I decided to take her with me to get her out of the apartment.
Tucking her safely inside my jacket, I carried her around our local streets.
Exploring the sights and sounds together, she seemed to love getting out and about.
Next, I decided to take her on my bicycle.
Not wanting her to get spooked by cars, I waited until night-time when the streets were quieter before going for a leisurely ride.
After attaching a short leash to keep her safe, I placed her in the basket on the front of my bike so she could have a clear view of the world around her.
It was amazing to see how much trust she had in me.
Over time, I slowly increased my speed to see how Cathode would react.
Incredibly, she seemed to love the feeling of wind blowing through her fur.
So, I wasted no time in taking her for a spin on my motorbike! As we zoomed through the neighbourhood, she loved poking her head out of my jacket as we neared top speeds.
A total adrenaline junkie myself, I realised Cathode was my purr-fect match!
Her safety was always top priority, so, using my skills as an engineer, I set about designing a tiny helmet for her to wear while riding.
Crafted through 3D printing, I added built-in goggles to protect her eyes and holes for her ears.
Strapping it on her head, she was ready to take on the world.
Then, for our next adventure, I introduced Cathode to skateboarding.
Perched on my shoulders as I rolled along, she was startled by the sounds of the wheels on the road at first.
But, like every challenge thrown her way, she soon grew comfortable with her new mode of transport.
Soon, we were even tackling specially designed skateboarding courses together at high speeds.
Sometimes we got strange looks from people, but stopping to chat, they were always amazed to learn about Cathode’s enthusiasm. From canoeing to paddleboarding and even paragliding, there was nothing Cathode wouldn’t try.
Amazingly, she even took to skiing!
Attaching a basket to my back, I placed Cathode inside with her short leash.
Then I set off down the snowy mountain.
As we glided along at speeds of up to 70 kilometres per hour, calm Cathode placed her little paws on my shoulder and turned her head side to side, taking in the scenery.
The connection we had was so special, I knew I had to share it with the world.
So I created our Instagram account, @mon_copain_ray, where I document all our adventures together.
Incredibly, we’ve amassed more than 62,000 followers from all over the globe.
Though some people share their concerns about Cathode’s willingness to participate in certain activities, I assure them she is happiest when we’re on the move together.
After all, anyone with a cat knows you can’t force them to do anything they don’t want to.
Now, after more than six years together, the bond Cathode and I have is unbreakable.
Although I gave her a second chance at life, I’m pawsitive she’s the one who rescued me!