The Best Interview With Pug and Cat!
(It’s with great sadness that we must type this update; Bandito the Pug past away Easter Sunday of 2018. Our hearts go out to his loving family. Rest in peace you fun adventure dog.)
Dear Reader, I am thrilled to welcome Pug and Cat to the Montecristo Travels “We Are Not Alone” series of interviews! Oh yes … there will be more! And to start off with Pug and Cat is SO very exciting!! If you have not heard about them yet you are missing out! And we hope that you’ll agree that this is possibly the best interview with Pug and Cat out there! So without further ado let’s get to the fabulous interview shall we? Mom lead the questions so … I will hand over the “pen” now. Enjoy!
The Best Interview With Pug and Cat!
Sonja: Thank you so very much for agreeing to this interview! We discovered you like most people on YouTube with the videos you made. Two humans, a pug and a cat walking 1000km across Spain – you can imagine that as “with asmall pet” international travel bloggers we were hooked and really wanted to get to know you all better!
Finn: Thank you for this wonderful opportunity to chat with you. We love meeting like-minded pet lovers.
Sonja: First off can you tell us a little bit about yourselves? Who you are? Where do you live full time? And how did you end up with such a cute pair of pets?
Finn: Sure thing! There are 4 of us, as you likely noticed on the YouTube videos. There’s myself, Finn and I have Luigi. That’s the cat. We live with my partner Sebastian and his Pug Bandito. We work in the hospitality industry in a sort of “health care” and awareness side of things. Mostly in assisting folks in staying safe from burns. It sounds crazy but we are in the South of Spain here and sunburns are a real health concern and problem. They spoil a lot of vacations. That’s where we come in. Keeping people safe from over indulging in the sunshine.
We are an unconventional family. I have to say though Luigi and Bandito are soul mates. It’s adorable and heartwarming to watch.
Sonja: That actually makes a lot of sense as a service I assume sunscreen is a best seller! Tell me… What prompted the decision to walk across Spain? And what was it that made you know in your heart and gut that you were taking your pets with you? Was it a conscious choice or just circumstances led to that happening?
Finn: After 8 years in Barcelona… living the dream really… we realized we weren’t happy. And it was the animals that made us see that. We were working long hours and sure we had the nice house on the sea and all that… but Bandito never wanted to come home after his – far too short – walks and Luigi wanted to be outside too. So we started walking Luigi when we walked Bandito and the walks got longer and then one day we watched them, saw them in the moment and REALLY happy and … in the next few days we sold absolutely everything, bought a pet hitch … trolley?…stroller? Anyway … we just … left.
Sebastian: We decided to follow the Santiago trail in Spain. So we knew we had to be able to carry everything. And we needed a tent. And it would take the time it would take. We followed the pets rhythm. When they had enough for the day then … we stopped. We had no “time crunch” and it was better that way.
Sonja: I have to ask — what was the best part of having your pets with you? I know that for us, having Montecristo with us brings a variety of enhanced experiences; the most unexpected and pleasant is that we aren’t treated like tourists. People think we live there and so the entire “vibe” changes. We don’t feel as targeted by the “business” of tourism.
Finn: I hinted at it above but I would say it was the slower pace. Being in the moment. Not rushing through life but living it. The pets would jump in and out of the pet stroller and we’d follow their schedule. Friendships were born on that trip. Watching Luigi and Bandito connect like we could never have imagined! And the animals got to get in touch with their “wild side”. Luigi would sometimes climb a tree and we’d be looking for him and he’d just watch us. You know he was laughing at us. Bandito was off leach, or in the stroller and just happy. Really happy.
Sebastian: Seeing them happy and connecting made us happier and connect too. To them and to each other as partners. Sleeping in a tent and always being together, you really connect on a much deeper level. The best way to say it was that Finn and myself we were a part of THEIR journey. Not the other way around.
Sonja: Oh Sebastian I love that. That’s a t-shirt quote right there! …And the biggest challenges where?
Finn: At first we worried that the pets would be nervous about not “having a home”. And it took a little time for them to figure it out but very soon they knew the stroller and tent were home. But the hardest part was the snow. I know most people think of Spain as hot and dry but we were “off season” you could say and that got cold and a little miserable.
Sebastian: Getting Luigi to stay close was sometimes a challenge. Sometimes we’d be calling …screaming for him and he’d not come. We’d dicover later he was in a tree nearby but those were nervous moments. But we soon learned to trust he’d show up.
Sonja: He was never on leash?
Finn: No. He loves Bandito and follows Bandito. Not us. No. Never us. But he goes where Bandito goes. That bond between them. We learned to trust it.
Sonja: Did you learn anything about your pets that you did not know prior to this adventure? In our case, I know that we hike a lot more after our trip to Greece. After Montecristo hiked on his own four paws all the way up to the top of Mount Zeus (8 km round trip in one day) we realized that he might only be 8 inches of the ground but he might just be part goat! We had always agreed to treat him just “like a dog” and not carry him everywhere and we had done long walks… yet we still had really underestimated his endurance.
Finn: Pets have a way of finding or bringing you to those “magic” moments. That you would miss. They are not afraid to stop. So you will see the sunsets. You will see the beautiful scenery. We also learned that Bandito snores a lot louder than we thought.
Sebastian: Like a 100 year old man sleeping in the tent with us! Made for good security though. No one approached our tent. AND he wouldn’t move. He learned the sleeping bag was the warmest and if he wasn’t done sleeping we were not going anywhere.
Sonja: Would you do an adventure like that again? Where would you go this time?
Finn: I think so. Why not. Bandito isn’t very social so it would need to be a trail that isn’t full of big cities along the way. We are happy where we are for now though.
Sonja: What little tip or trick did you perfect on this adventure that you could share?
Sebastian: Having a backpack that your pet can ride! Yes we had the stroller and that was very important…but they still liked to ride our shoulders. They want to be close I think.
Sonja: How much extra work was it to plan this trip to include not just a dog but a cat as well!?
Finn: We didn’t. We just went! The only thing was to make sure we had food and water for the 4 of us. That was all. The rest just “happened”. We let things happen. We have SO many stories. CRAZY stories we haven’t told anyone yet. So many. Some a little scary some just really really funny.
Sonja: I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share your story with us and answering our questions. Before we part, what’s next on the horizon for Pug and Cat?
Finn: You are the FIRST to know this … We haven’t told ANYONE yet but … we’ve been picked up by a publisher and they are publishing “The diary of 1000km walk across Spain” we kept. So A BOOK! That is next and we are very excited about that.
Sonja: That is AMAZING!! Wow… congratulations!! Maybe there are a bunch of book tours in your future . I can’t wait to read it and I hope I’ll get an autographed and pawtographed copy! What wonderful news. In the meantime, you can bet we will be following you! And I hope we meet face to face and snouts to snouts one day. Until then take good care and keep travelling!
Finn: Yes!! Let’s stay in touch! And thank you!
Sebastian: Thank you!!I hope you enjoyed our interview with “Pug and Cat” and that you’ll share and spread this wonderful story.