Van Cat makes Purrfect Travel Buddy for life on the road

Is it your dream to quit your job and live on the streets and travel where inspiration takes you? If so, take a lesson from Rich East and his van cat Willow.

In 2014, Rich prepared for “the best-prepared midlife crisis in history.” Tired of life in the rat race, he renovated a van to become his home on wheels, did research, sold his possessions, and finally retired from work.

“I said goodbye to my great colleagues who had supported me for so long, to life as I knew it and hello to the stranger,” said Rich.

But he ran into a problem while preparing to leave his Tasmanian home.

Willow the cat.

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

A Van Cat

Rich adopted Willow long before his flight plans from a shelter, but he didn’t think she would enjoy life on the street. He was looking for a home where she could be happy. But Rich had a feeling he couldn’t ignore. Something told him Willow was meant for adventure.

“You can’t let this cat go. You have to take them with you. “

So that’s what he did.

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

But he didn’t just throw the fluffy black cat in the RV and take off. Instead, Rich slowly introduced her to life in the van. The couple started out on weekend getaways that evolved into week-long stays on the road. Not only did Willow manage, “she thrived.”

“I soon realized that what I thought was a house cat was actually a van cat, an adventure cat!”

But don’t confuse Willow with a Turkish Van Cat. Rich stated that his particular cat “is just a normal van cat”. The couple not only have adventure in their hearts, they also have some sense of humor!

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

Willow is a normal van cat and makes the adventures even sweeter.

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

About a year after their trip, Willow and Rich found a new travel companion and turned the duo into a happy family of three. Steph is an excellent mother of cats in Willow’s eyes. Rich is a pretty big Steph fan too. The couple were married in 2019, to Willow’s delight.

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

Willow’s Wanderings

Although a curious cat with a love of exploration, Willow knows her limits and never stays away from Rich and Steph’s side for long. To ensure her safety, she wears a tracker collar. Rich also stated that he and Willow know each other well, an important factor in making the traveling life with a cat. Trust is the key.

“Willow and I have an unspoken agreement. She will always return to the van and I will always wait for her. “

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

Since Willow and her parents left Tasmania in 2015, they have covered more than 30,000 miles behind them they travel across Australia.

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

Like any self-respecting cat, Willow can get moody, according to Rich. But it looks like a beautiful landscape will lighten their mood.

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

Willow celebrated her 10th birthday this year and the beautiful cat is looking forward to many more years and adventures with her family.

@ vancatmeow / Instagram

Whether she is dozing on the roof rack of the van or snuggling up in blankets, Willow knows wherever she is, her forever home is in the arms of her parents.

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Feature Image: @ vancatmeow / Instagram