Meet The Jenkinson Pack, the cutest collection of nature lovers you’ll ever see. The pack stars Quinn; Keshia; their 1-year-old daughter, Winter; and their three adventurous animals, Shasta the cat, Vera the rottie, and Winston the rottie mix.
When they’re not enjoying life on their farm in Fraser Valley, British Columbia, this family is out and about, taking in the incredible sights Canada has to offer.
“We love to be in nature, whether that’s snowboarding or snowshoeing in the winter or hiking, camping or canoeing in the summer, we try to make the most of the incredible natural beauty that surrounds and makes up the place we call home,” Keshia told Adventure Cats.
Shasta the cat is no exception to this rule. Bold and undeterred, this barn cat-turned-adventure cat is just as enthusiastic as the rest of his family. And this little guy came into their lives in the least expected of ways.
“We didn’t think we were cat people,” Keshia said. So when the barn cat next door had a litter of kittens, they found homes for the abandoned kittens and didn’t keep any for themselves. It wasn’t until the next generation of kittens came along that they started warming up to the idea of adding a new member to their dogs-only family.
“We were going through treatment trying to get pregnant and the idea of snuggling a tiny baby, even if just a furry one, sounded very appealing,” Keshia said. “We met the fluffy snowball that would later be named Shasta and that was it. We loved him from the moment we met him.”
But like most families that have only had dogs, the Jenkinsons were anxious about introducing Shasta to the original pack.
“But when we brought him home, he immediately began cuddling with Vera and she accepted him like he was her own puppy,” Keshia said. “By the evening, Winston was cuddling him as well, and our hearts were as full as they could possibly be at that moment.”
And the love kept on pouring in with the news of Keshia’s pregnancy and the birth of their daughter, Winter.
Now, the entire group – dogs, cat, baby and all – can often be found outdoors. Shasta fit right in with the dogs and, with a little inspiration from Adventure Cats, his owners decided to train him to go hiking, too!
“Its funny because your page actually inspired us to take him out hiking,” Keshia shared. “A few weeks after we got Shasta, we were scrolling through Instagram and found the Adventure Cats page. We have always taken our dogs with us hiking so that got us thinking that we could try this with Shasta. That same day we went to the pet store and bought him a harness.”
Shasta’s first hike was such a success, the Jenkinsons felt confident introducing him to even more new experiences, like biking and canoeing.
“Turns out, he’s quite an adaptable little kitty,” Keshia said.
Keshia and Quinn have had to adapt, too. It’s no easy feat to take a baby, a cat, and two dogs along on your typical hike.
“We had to get used to going at a different pace and being more realistic when planning our hikes,” Keshia said. “We always joke that Shasta is way more high maintenance on the trails than the baby.”
Keshia said that over time, Shasta has become less enthusiastic about walking on the leash, but that hasn’t kept them from bringing him along.
“He has no problem with sitting on our shoulders and enjoying the hike from that vantage point,” she said. “We make sure to stop lots and let him climb trees and explore in his own cat way. But the greatest reward is that we get to have our whole pack with us, experiencing nature together.”
Keshia and Quinn have a few tips for families that have young ones who would like to start exploring nature more.
- Try a hike that is close to home and not very long to test it out and see what you need to change next time
- Be patient
- Make stops along the way and let them explore their environment to make them feel more comfortable
- Bring a hiking backpack in case kitty needs a break
- A great baby carrier is helpful, too
- Always bring snacks and water for baby and the pets
- And, of course, bring your camera!
So, what’s next for this fun-seeking family?
“Shasta and Winter have a really special bond,” Keshia said. “So we are really looking forward to the day that Winter can walk Shasta on hikes.”
We can’t wait, either!