So far she’s visited almost 30 locations, including Vatican City, Champeaux, and Florence, posing for photos in front of sights including the Eiffel Tower and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Her adventures began the moment she was adopted by Robert back in March 2019, when she was originally brought in to bring cheer to staff at Robert’s healthcare business.
‘Quita was acquired by my company, Penrose Care, on March 15, 2019.
‘Penrose Care is the recognised pioneer of the ethical provision of home care services in the UK.
‘We acquired Quita originally to lift the spirits of the staff but my aunt Carlotta Lincoln, a registered nurse in the Monterey Bay, California, suggested we train Quita to be a therapy animal by teaching her to wear clothes and wear a harness and lead.’
Robert had to train Quita to get used to the lead, and started out by taking her around Hampstead Heath with her harness.
‘Quita’s first major outdoor goal was to visit all of London’s Royal Parks which she completed by the end of Spring 2019,’ said Robert. ‘She also became the first cat to ride one of the Thames Clippers.’
Once she was ready, the pals ventured abroad for the first time in July, taking a ferry to Provence, driving up to Champeaux for a wedding, then popping into Paris.
Robert explains: ‘People ask us how we trained her but aside from adding Coco Lee the parrot into the mix to help Quita when she is scared, the inclination to go outside to far-off places and meet people was in Quita’s original nature.
‘Seeing the joy she has on her adventures and the happiness she brings others is reason enough to bring her out.’
Parrot Coco Lee is always there to provide companionship and comfort for the cat, having travelled with Robert since 2011.
‘Most people of course find traveling with Quita very unusual,’ says Robert. ‘That is because it is unusual.
‘But having travelled around with my pet parrot Coco Lee since 2011, I don’t really take much notice.
‘I would say 99% of people are visibly joyful when they see Quita traveling.
‘You have about maybe 1% of animal haters – we have no time for them.”
‘There are certain areas she just doesn’t like and if we take those routes, she can get highly agitated. She also doesn’t like the sound of the conveyor platform on delivery trucks so we need to avoid those.
‘If Quita is stressed while we’re out, the best solution is to go for a car ride as these almost instantly, but not always, calm her down.’
Quita now has her own TikTok and Instagram to her adventures with her adoring fans.
”I would not want to project our human concept of love onto Quita and Coco Lee but there is one thing I am certain of: they do not like being alone or being apart from me. So there is an attachment.
‘Do they love me? Possibly. Do I love them? Certainly.
‘As animals in your care generally will not betray you, I would say that the animal bond to a human is potentially more powerful than typical human love. Being able to take Quita and Coco Lee with me so they are not alone is a great privilege.
Will you be able to get back home if you’re abroad amid coronavirus outbreak?
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