Updated: Jun 26
Simon and I took a flight from Denver to the sleepless city of Seattle to film a seaplane and kayaking adventure segment. It’s pretty hard to go unnoticed when you fly with Simon. Everywhere I looked, people did double takes trying to figure out if they really just saw a cat riding on my shoulders.
Simon has flown with me more times than I can count. He’s a calm, frequent flyer feline. People often wonder how I manage to travel so many places with him. Admission: it took a fair amount of training to convince a cat to go anywhere, let alone fly. That’s something I’m constantly improving and working with on with Simon!
When we arrived in Seattle, Simon looked through every window on the drive from the airport. He had never been to this city, so it was a brand new location to be curious about. At the hotel, he did his rounds of the perimeter (something he always does in a new place). That is one thing I enjoy about Simon - his endless inquisitive nature.
We were eager to explore the city, so I took him for a hike in Kerry Park. I took some photos of him exploring and doing his thing, including one iconic photo of Simon in the foreground of downtown Seattle and the Space Needle. To think a cat has a photo this cool!
After socializing with the locals and tourists alike, we headed to a local German restaurant, Queen Anne Beerhall. Simon spent most of the meal hidden in his backpack. Whenever things get a little too chaotic, he cozies into his bag. I did get him to peek out for a bite of sardines. Cats right?
The next morning was an early riser. We woke up at the crack of dawn to head to the waterfront. From there we traveled to Lake Union where our seaplane was waiting. Simon had never been on a seaplane before and the pilot was apprehensive about allowing him in the cabin. Cats are notorious for being neurotic and unpredictable. The pilot was nervous; voicing that Simon might freak out from the loud engine noises which are more pronounced than a typical commercial aircraft. I assured the pilot that Simon was unlike any other cat he’d encountered previously. After taking the time to analyze Simon’s calm demeanor, the pilot agreed to make Simon the first kitty to fly in his seaplane! Talk about making history for all kitty kind!
We loaded the plane and started up the plane with Simon in my lap. The engines roared, the plane gained speed, and before I knew it, we were airborne! Simon tensed up a little bit at first from the loud noises, but that quickly dissipated, and he soon settled into the new environment. I knew he was comfortable the moment he started curiously peeking outside the window. We flew over the city, catching views of the Space Needle, Seattle Seahawks Stadium, and Mount Rainier in the distance. We flew over a gorgeous 268-foot waterfall called Snoqualmie Falls. We took a fly-by of the cascades, and what an amazing vantage point. Simon was simply enthralled by all of it. It’s surreal to see it from the top down as a person, let alone a cat!
A cat’s field of vision is 200 degrees, which is much wider than a human’s field of vision at 180 degrees. I can only imagine the amazing view Simon got flying above the clouds, seeing Seattle like no man (or cat) had seen it before.
Just like that, the flight was over and we landed safely. All in all, I think Simon did an amazing job considering how mind-blowing this flight was for us both.
As soon as we landed, it was right onto the next adventure - kayaking across Lake Union. Simon is no stranger to water; he’s been kayaking before, but this foldable kayak was a little different than what he was used to. As soon as Simon got on, he was ready to jump in the water. I always worry about Simon’s safety when we’re kayaking because strangely enough, he really loves to swim! I told Simon we have to kayak first before you get in the water and he eventually listened, then sat in my lap as we crossed the lake. His meowing didn’t stop though! Simon’s a very vocal cat and likes to let me know when I’m doing things wrong... or when I’m doing them right... or pretty much just likes to have conversations about anything and everything.
As we were crossing the lake, I was talking with him about the city, the sights, the amazing flight, the fresh sea air, and most importantly, why the heck I was taking him out on this lake when he could be comfortably sleeping at home!
As the day grew late, I knew our adventure was coming to an end. We kayaked back to shore. I let Simon venture to the front of the kayak, and I made good on my promise, as I could tell he was ready to jump in. With a momentary glance back, he leapt into the water and started swimming back to shore. I yelled to him to wait, but Simon has a mind of his own! Once I landed on shore with him, Simon looked up at me, all wet, and a little annoyed. But all in all, he seemed like he had a good time.
Afterwards, we had lunch at a local seafood restaurant. Simon’s favorite food is fish, which is always a good way to get back on his good side. After we got some food into our bellies, it was time to go back to Colorado.
Talk about a short experience that was a jam-packed adventure! When we got back on a regular commercial airplane, Simon looked out the window longingly. I could see he was sad to be leaving, but probably okay knowing he was going back to his own bed. What an adventure for one kitty!
Follow along on Simon and my future adventures at www.instagram.com/jjyosh