A retired Maths teacher has developed a passion for stand-up paddle boarding – with his CAT.
Nigel Edmunds, 72, and his one-year-old singapura Noodle go out on the water every week, sometimes travelling up to three miles.
Keen sailor Nigel got into the fast-growing water sport – which involves standing on a surfboard-like object and paddling along the water – four years ago after seeing it at a boat show.
But after taking his pet with him in May to meet wife Jackie, the pair became inseparable.
The grandfather-of-four said: “My wife was walking near the river with a group of friends so I said, ‘I’ll come over with my paddle board and bring Noodle with me’.
“Jackie said I was crackers but when she saw her on the board she realised how relaxed she was on it.”
Nigel, from Brightlingsea, Essex and Noodle go out on the nearby Colne Estuary at least once a week.
He added: “The lovely part of it is the pleasure it gives other people. We just about stop the river when we’re there.”
When the cat wants a better view, she jumps up and hitches a ride on her owner’s shoulder.
The paddleboarder said: “The breed is well known for wanting to be high up.”
Although Noodle is an “indoor” cat, the husband and wife also take her out sailing, and on countryside walks.
Nigel, who also enjoys snowboarding and windsurfing, said: “We take her for walks every day on a lead. She comes everywhere with us. We’re very close.
“We bought the cat for my wife but Noodle decided otherwise, we’ve become best friends.
“Jackie has to take second place I’m afraid.”
Nigel said people were often shocked that a cat would be so comfortable near the water.
He added: “People do ask me if she can swim. She did lose her footing once. I say she did a ‘moggie paddle’.
“I just plucked her out and dried her off when we got back. She takes it all in her stride.
“She’s just such a chilled out cat.”