Going Wild With Bolt And Keel; Feline Adventurists Darlings Of Social Media, New Book

By Will Broaddus
The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A trip, in 2015, was the first of a series of adventures that are recorded in “Bolt and Keel,” which consists mostly of Kayleen VanderRee’s photographs. The pictures show Kayleen and her friend Danielle Gumbley’s cats riding in backpacks, peering into water from the prow of a canoe, and padding along a forest trail at the end of a leash.

The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass.

Cats love to go canoeing.

And in spite of their reputation for being finicky, housebound characters, cats also like to hike, climb, snow shoe and sail.

Proof of this feline appetite for outdoor life can be found in a new book, “Bolt and Keel,” by Kayleen VanderRee and Danielle Gumbley, who both live in Victoria, British Columbia.

As the pair explain in their introduction, they found two abandoned kittens — which they eventually named Bolt and Keel — one day in a park while leading a group of children at summer camp.

“They were about the same age — the vet thinks they’re brothers,” VanderRee said. “They have the same markings.”

Unable to get the cats to a shelter before it closed, they brought them on a trek they had already planned “into the mountains of Canada’s Vancouver Island.”

“After a short canoe ride, we tucked the kittens into our jackets and started up a series of switchbacks,” they write in the introduction about their trek. “Bolt and Keel’s curious natures took over; they leaped from the safety of our jackets without fear.”

That trip, in 2015, was the first of a series of adventures that are recorded in “Bolt and Keel,” which consists mostly of VanderRee’s photographs. These show the cats riding in backpacks, peering into water from the prow of a canoe, and padding along a forest trail at the end of a leash.

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