Meet Pōhaku, the fearless feline who is ‘more like a dog’ and joins his adventure-loving owner on bike rides – where he even sits on his shoulders.
Kyle Kana’iaupuni Robertson, 31, uses a special lead to walk his 13-month-old Russian-Blue tabby who ‘never leaves his side’.
The single civil servant bought his travelling companion when relocated from London to Sheffield, South Yorks., during the pandemic.
He then started taking Pōhaku, known as Pō, out on walks to the local park using a special harness.
It wasn’t long before the inseparable pair went on hiking trips in the mountainous Peak district – and they have so far completed 15 adventures together.
Kyle said Pō has recently learned to sit on his shoulders during bike rides, and he hopes to take him on a camping trip soon where they can spend more quality time together.
He said: “He’s not like a well-trained dog, instead he’s more of a companion – with a bit of his own mind.
“But the goal is once there’s a bit of warmer weather to spend a few nights in the peak district with him. That would open up some new doors in terms of adventure!”
Kyle, who had lived in London for five years before relocating to the Northern city, said he fell in love with Pō after seeing him at his breeder’s home.
He said: “When I picked him up, I went to the house, and all the other kittens were scurrying away under the sofas.
“But he ran out and attacked my foot – and ran across the room – and I felt like he knew he was the one that I was going to take home.”
Kyle began fitting Pō with a harness inside his home so he could get used to the feeling, and it wasn’t long before the pair took their first steps outside together.
He said: “I started out by putting a harness on him for a minute, then five minutes, and feeding him treats at the same time, so he doesn’t associate it with a bad thing.
“When I took him out for the first few times just in the garden, he was just memorized by what was around him rather than wanting to get the harness off him.
“Then I realised that there’s a dog-free area in the park near my house, so I would just take him there in his carrier open it up and just sit by it and see if he wanted to come out.”
Once Pō had gotten to grips with local parks, Kyle said he then began taking him for hikes on trails in the scenic local countryside.
He said: “We graduated from the park to the Peak District pretty quickly.
“It’s not like hiking with a dog or something, it’s more about him having a good time.
“He will trot along as well, but it’s kind of like in his own time. He’s not like a well-trained dog, he’s more of a companion – with a bit of his own mind.”
He added: “I recently unclipped him from the lead, and he just follows alongside me, and sometimes he’ll run in front.
“The first time he did that, I didn’t know if that was good, and so I just stopped and waited.
“He just turned around, and he’d be meowing at me, being like “C’mon!”, so I was like, “cool!”
Pō’s most recent trick is climbing out from his travel backpack and sitting on his owner’s shoulders as he rides his bike.
Kyle said: “I just trialled it out, and he eventually got out and just climbed on my shoulder, and it was pretty cool.
“I knew he would be good at it – I just knew – so looking forward to doing more of that.”
Kyle hopes to take Pō camping in the future after recently passing his driving test and buying a van with a converted sleeping arrangement.
He said: “The goal is once there’s a bit of warmer weather to spend a few nights in the peak district with him.
“It would involve having a litter box with me in the van at night, but it’s fine, it would be worth it.
“That would open up some new doors in terms of adventure, but we can’t go too far afield because I don’t want to stress him out.”