Paragliding in BC

Paragliding in BC

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


I never had a pet growing up. My dad said he was allergic to cats but really he just hated them. And the feeling was mutual...cats would seriously hiss when he walked in the room. But I wasn't a huge animal lover anyway and was probably the only little girl who didn't want a pony (although a flying unicorn would have been most welcome.)

As an adult the closest I've come to a living organism under my care has been some hardy plants that refuse to die, even when I go away for a month at a time & neglect them (may I recommend ferns & rubber trees for those looking for some independent greenery?). So I've surprised myself by a fierce attachment to Bob, the landing zone cat.

Bob showed up one day at the paragliding school owned by my friends Jim & Colleen. Jim is about as much as a cat person as my dad was (one of Jim's favourite sayings was "the only good cat is a stuffed cat"), so noone knew where this super-friendly calico came from. Soon one of the pilots named her Bob (before finding out Bob was a she, of course) and soon Colleen & even Jim appreciated her ability to take care of the mice hanging out in the barn (aka paragliding school room).

Flash forward a year later. Bob has become every pilot's pet, more dog than cat as she comes running out to the field to meet you when you land and jumps on your lap for some love if you happen to sit down. So when yesterday looked flyable we decided to land at "Bob's" & check how she was dealing with the snow, figuring she was mooching off some other family who would let her inside.

As I was on final approach to land I saw some tiny paw prints in the snow, and as I touched down there was Bob sitting in a grassy patch in the field, meowing away demanding to know where I've been. It's embarrassing how happy that made me. She walked over to visit as I packed up, talking away the whole time. Part of me wanted to kidnap her & bring her home, but Bob belongs to everyone and as a person who travels so much I've arranged my life to be easy to get away from on a moment's notice. Sometimes I wonder about things I miss with this type of life - pets, children, a garden without weeds & slugs- but in the end being able to pull off a Great Escape at the last minute appeals to me over everything else and I'm so lucky to have a boyfriend who feels the same.

I'm also lucky to have a part-time pet in Bob and am happy to share her. A cat that awesome should be available to everyone.

Pawprints in the!

Monday, February 7, 2011


Self-portraits wearing a full-face helmet aren't flattering. But when you hit flight 1000, you take one anyway.

Flight 1000. Saturday February 5, 2011. One hour in the cold winter air. Still smiling 2 days later.