As Sponge Cake, Mocha and Donut walked gracefully through the park on their leads, everybody smiled.
Our fluffy felines were so well behaved, people rushed to pat them and they lapped up the attention.
I’d become a cat dad during the pandemic. Stuck inside our apartment, my wife Olivia, then 31, and I decided to take the plunge and get some kitties in October 2020.
They all have very different personalities.
Sponge Cake, our beautiful Scottish fold with luscious golden fur, is very adventurous and cries for attention. Mocha’s a fussy eater but a cool, calm cat. Donut loves his food but is the most timid of the three.
Creative Olivia made bows and ties for the trio, who didn’t seem to mind wearing them at all.
I’d started taking our pets out in see-through backpack carriers. But naturally curious, they often popped their heads out, or loved to just be held so they could see what was going on.
Now Sponge Cake was so confident with his extendable lead, he scampered high up a tree.
I laughed as he got comfy and took a nap on a branch. So I waited patiently for him to come down.
‘I don’t want to leave them behind.’
Why don’t we try and take the cats on a trip,’ Olivia suggested as we planned a holiday to Disneyland, in July 2021. ‘I don’t want to leave them behind.’
We researched online and discovered in the US, where we lived, we could place two cats under our seats in their backpack carriers.
It would cost an extra $595 for the third one, but we couldn’t leave one behind.
On board the plane and at our destination, our furbabies were so well behaved. They loved being carried and seemed to thrive on all the attention.
Sometimes, we’d stop for a while and I’d end up in a cuddle, with all three of them climbing on my back and in my arms – I’d even walk around the streets with them perched on me.
Given lots of treats and water, they’d happily doze off.
‘What about a trip to Europe next?’ Olivia said.
We investigated what vaccinations our feline friends needed. And we paid a hefty fee for a third seat for the cat that wouldn’t fit under ours.
But in October 2021, we took our jet-setting trio on a long-distance flight to Paris. The fellow passengers loved them and the cats were amazingly relaxed. As we walked through the airport, everyone smiled.
‘Let’s document our travels,’ Olivia said. So she videoed our adventures for TikTok and Instagram.
In Paris, we took our cats to the Eiffel Tower and they loved it. We put them down on the cobbled streets and they took off to investigate.
And our fluffy companions adored sitting in French restaurants as we dined. They were great dinner guests, often falling asleep by the table, and locals loved them.
But we’d feed them back at the hotel with food we’d brought over with us.
We also had disposable litter trays for them to use.
There was no stopping our adventurous felines.
In April last year we took them to Venice, Italy.
‘They are so curious about the canals,’ I laughed.
When we put them on a gondola, the gondolier
loved it – and so did the furry three.
‘Your cats are the talk of Venice,’ he told us.
Suddenly our cats were global superstars.
As Olivia posted more videos of our travelling trio on social media, they gained a huge number of fans.
‘I don’t believe how many followers we’ve got,’ she gasped.
Suddenly our cats were global superstars.
And of course they loved all the attention. The prima donna of the lot was Sponge Cake, who loved posing for the camera.
When we got home, people messaged us, desperate to meet up with us and our cats.
And I was shocked when, in September, actress Drew Barrymore invited me and our cats onto her talk show.
In October we returned to Paris and visited Amsterdam and Brussels too. Now seasoned travellers, the cats loved every minute.
I had so many questions from people about our cats, that I released a book called Adventure Cats, with everything I’ve learned about keeping them happy on the move.
Every now and then people have questioned how much we’re spending on the cats. But they’re our family, so we’ll spend whatever’s needed to make them comfortable.
Now two and a half, our cats have 744,000 followers on social media.
Olivia and I are so happy that our much-loved pets bring joy to the world. ●
Follow their travels on Instagram @spongecake_thescottishfold