This is officially our first article and it’s basically a more in-depth “about us” – how my cat Cezar came into my life and how I came about traveling with my cat.
To be honest, all started back in 2013 and I was working in Norway with a very fancy job title and a very nice paycheck. I think I got a little bit homesick and wanted to move back to Sweden after living in Norway for 5 years
So I quit my job and moved back to Sweden into my own flat which I have bought a few years earlier but actually never lived in. Winter was just approaching when I finally moved back.
During my childhood, my family always had cats around the house and I had two special black and white ones Susie and Susie 2. So being brought up with cats I was longing for a cat as an adult and have never found the right moment to get one, until now.
There are so many kittens without a home so I was actually waiting for the ‘kitten’ season to come. However, since I had mentioned to a friend of mine that I was hoping my new kitten would become big, she recommended me about this huge breed called Maine Coon.
I was kind of intrigued so I started to do some research about the Maine Coon and saw a lot of pictures of this breed and they kind of looked like mini lions.
To be honest, though, I was struggling with the thought of, why buying a cat when you can get one for free that really needs a home. Anyway, I was still curious about this Maine Coon breed, that I contacted a person near my area, to ask if I could have a look, since I haven’t seen one in real life. I managed to come over to her house and have a look at her Maine Coon. I was so amazed, he really looked like a ‘livingroom’ lion
That visit kind of settled it so I started to research for different breeders and their new litters.
Again, since I was used to black and white cats, I was kind of aiming for that. Found a breeder 1h away, and decided to go there and have a look.
This might sound stupid to some, but it was kind of important for me to find a kitten in which you shared a ‘connection’ with. Unfortunately, none of the kittens were the ones.
Kept on looking around, until I eventually went to breeder 4h away which had 4 white kittens.
To tell you the truth, I wasn’t that keen on getting a white one. Somehow I find them impractical because my cat would be a free-roaming in/outdoor cat. Anyway, while cuddling and playing around with these kittens, there was one that stuck out to me. He wasn’t afraid at all and kind of a curious little kitten. So yes, he was the one!
I signed the papers and then it was only for me to wait a few more weeks.
In Sweden, you are not allowed to separate the kittens from their mother until they are at least 12 weeks old, which is kind of obvious.
While I waited with excitement I started to prepare my apartment. Got him the bowls, his cat toys, catnip, and cat furniture. I have been longing for a cat as an adult for over 10 years and the time had finally come to pick him up.
On the way back to his new home, I took a picture of him and sent it to a friend and the first thing she noticed was how big he was. Never thought about it, but yes that was true. He was already almost 3 kg at 12 weeks old.
Luckily at this point, I still haven’t made an effort to get a job, so I had all the time in the world to spend with him, making him comfortable in his new home, and getting to know him and named him Cezar.
Living in an apartment in the middle of the city, I soon realized that I wasn’t too happy with the environment for him. Being used to having free roaming in/outdoor cats, I decided to go to my dad’s house in the countryside. So “packed” down Cezar in a backpack and went on the train. The first couple of times Cezar was still in leash, so he could get used to the environment and the neighbor’s uncle’s cat Torres. Since this whole place is Torres’s kingdom and territory, we wanted to make sure that Cezar was welcomed. At first, Torres really tried to establish that he was the king here. However, we thought that he then would realize that Cezar was just a kitten (just a very big kitten). Torres then started to take him under his wing.
Cezar enjoyed our micro-adventures to the countryside so much that I started to extend our stays to overnight and weekends. Every time at around 21.00, Torres would come down, and scratch on the window, ‘asking’ if Cezar wanted to come out and play.
Cezar just turned 6 months and was already at 7 kg. By this time I have just started in a new job, which actually was like going back 5 years of my career.
After a few weeks in the new job, they announced a new job opening, which would be more fitting for my level of expertise which I applied for. The announcement of who got the job came during my vacation in New York and to my disappointment, I wasn’t the one. I called up my so-called ‘boss’ and asked how the decision was made, telling them that they are making a mistake, not to mention that among the 5 applicants I was the one that had the most experienced and had proven could get results. Yet they offered it to someone who just came out from the university. I then realized that this company would not invest in me, so I finally thought, why would I then invest my time in them. I told my boss over the phone to start looking for someone else in my position, and that I’m resigning as soon as I come back from the vacation. I hung up the phone, went to a store in New York, bought myself a nice suite in which later I wore when I went back to the ‘office’ to fire my boss in person.
That was it I’m done! In all my workplaces and these big companies, I have given them everything. Working more hours than I get paid for, giving them my heart and soul to find them the right solutions and budget-friendly outcomes. No, I was so done with working and wasting my precious time on someone else’s dream.
Now what? So I had no job and not really any savings nor a plan what to do. However, being a globetrotter since I was 19, I kind of already had a vague ideá of what I wanted to do.
But hey, wait a minute, don’t you have a cat? Yes and a long story short, it goes something like this: A lot of people had warned me that I could never travel the same way, now when I had my cat Cezar. And my approach as always was “Challenge accepted”.
So I moved into my dad’s house so Cezar could be a free cat and my mother could use my apartment as an overnight place.
Googled how to travel cheaply, and googled ‘said’ “The slower you go the cheaper it gets”. Basically, by walking it would be free…
I have to admit that this would be a little bit too slow. So I decided on the next best thing, bike-touring..and down the rabbit hole I went with the research. I was so amazed and inspired by all these men and women that were biking around the world and all they lived off was on the bike. I was totally sold on the ideá.
Winter is coming!
Well, going on a bike trip in the middle of the winter in Sweden, wasn’t really the best timing. Being a simple person from the start, I didn’t really have a lot of things, but still took the opportunity to sell and give away all my belongings. Until that, all that was left was an old bike helmet, some bike tools and clothes, and an old sleeping bag. Then I got a new bike, a bike trailer for Cezar and a 3×3 meter tarp.
Researched what was needed for Cezar to travel within Europe. Because Sweden is within the European Union, there weren’t really too many things to think of. He needed a pet passport, (which basically is a collective of documentation of vaccinations). He already was ISO-microchipped and had the basic vaccinations. So all we just needed to add was a rabies vaccination.
Summertime 2015 was finally approaching and then, me and Cezar went on our epic bike tour, with no plan and no map. All I wanted was to get as far south as possible in Europe to escape the next winter.