But Minnesota has Max, the paddleboard cat.
Max, a big tabby cat owned by Craig Reed of Forest Lake, likes to ride with Reed when he takes his paddleboard out on the lake.
Reed estimates that the 10-year-old cat has been on the paddleboard more than 20 times since he and his wife acquired him in January 2010. The cat was a stray put up for adoption at the Animal Humane Society shelter in Woodbury.
Max turned out to be a typical Minnesotan when it comes to being on the lake, happy to take rides on pontoon boats and kayaks.
“We do a dock walk almost nightly,” Reed said of his cat. “He likes to be on the dock, see what’s going on.”
Once Max became accustomed to being on water, he would sit on the paddleboard on the beach, waiting for a ride. Reed said Max is able to step directly from the dock onto the board. He’s never fallen off the board.
Max is a husky feline at 16.5 pounds, and he’s no scaredy-cat. “He has literally chased eagles out of our yard,” Reed said. “He’s more like a dog than a cat.”
Or maybe he’s just an adventure cat.
“Adventure Cats” is a popular Instagram account, website and now a book created by writer Laura Moss that documents the lives of intrepid cats that like to camp, hike, boat, bike, ski and even surf with their owners.
The website tells the story of a cat that has sailed around the world and a cat that is visiting all of the U.S. national parks.
The book has advice on how to get a cat trained to walk with a harness, how to create a feline first-aid kit, how to keep cats safe from wildlife and toxic plants and how to decide whether a cat needs sunscreen.
Moss, who lives in Atlanta, admits that not all cats are up for outdoor recreation. Her book includes advice on how to tell if your cat has the “purrsonality” for adventure or is more of a homebody.
“If your cat doesn’t want an adventure, you’re not going to have an adventure cat,” Moss said.
But Moss said for the cats that like it, outdoor adventures on a leash and a harness can be a safe way to provide mental and physical stimulation, providing an antidote to feline obesity and boredom-related behavioral issues.
Moss believes telling stories about cats that go on adventures with their humans will help dispel the stereotype that all cats are lazy and aloof, that cat owners are “crazy cat ladies,” and that it’s weird for a man to have a cat.
She hopes that these types of tales will make more people consider adopting cats that need homes.
“I wanted to change people’s minds about what it means to be a cat person,” according to Moss. “A cat that defies stereotypes is a cat that people want to talk about and a cat that finds a home.”