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Nānākuli the One-Eyed Rescue Cat Loves to Surf

A human helped him learn the sport; now he is king of the waves in Honolulu.

Phillip Mlynar  |  Mar 9th 2016


It’s not exactly groundbreaking feline science to state that cats, in general, do not like water. In the case of my own cat, Mimosa, if I mischievously flick a droplet of water on her while doing the washing up, she hightails it out of the kitchen with a panicky gusto. That being so, it’s safe to say that I doubt she’ll decide to take up water sports.

A one-eyed rescue cat in Hawaii called Nānākuli, on the other hand, is bucking assumptions by becoming a feted feline surfer. Yep, Kuli’s a cat who loves to hop on his surfboard and hit the waves. Here’s how he does it.

Homeward bound

Kuli1

Image via Instagram

This pic captures Kuli on the first day he was brought to his forever home. As you can see, he’s a distinctive one-eyed feline. Apparently, he came through some early surgeries with a smile on his face.

The surfing scene

Kuli2

Image via Instagram

This is Kuli in what’s become his natural environment — a surfboard in the ocean. He doesn’t mind getting drenched, and he has garnered quite the reputation as a skilled surfer among the Honolulu watersports community.

Carp diem

Kuli3

Image via Instagram

When not actively surfing some good old Hawaiian waves, Kuli likes to take a moment to appreciate the natural world around him. As he perches on the edge of his surfboard, I’d like to think he has his one eye trained on spotting any fish — say, a carp — in the water below.

A helping hand

KuliHuman

Image via Instagram

How exactly does a cat learn to surf? Well, in Kuli’s case, he has a secret method that involves canny use of a willing human.

nanakuli-surfing-cat-woman-surfboard

Photo via Instagram

You can see in the first photo above, Kuli maintains a prime position on the tip of the surfboard while his human puts in work behind the scenes.

Paw powered paddling

KuliSwimming

Image via Instagram

Kuli might seem comfortable and secure when he’s bopping around on his surfboard, but he’s also a cat who’s proved himself a dab hand at swimming. Here he’s been pictured scooting along in the water before hopping up onto his trusty surfboard.

Cat surfing 101

KuliLifejacket

Image via Instagram

At heart, Kuli seems to be something of a daredevil cat. But he’s still smart enough to take proper safety precautions when he’s out chasing waves. Here you’ll notice that he’s fully kitted up with his own feline life jacket.

Hit up Kuli’s Instagram account to check out more of his antics on the water.

About the author: Phillip Mlynar writes about cats, music, food, and sometimes a mix of all three. He considers himself the world’s foremost expert on rappers’ cats.