There is a group of regulars that frequents the beaches of Honolulu, Hawaii that would startle just about anyone: Alexandra Gomez, Krista Littleton and their surfing and swimming one-eyed cat, Nānākuli, or Kuli, for short. Gomez and Littleton rescued Kuli after he had been found as a stray in the Hawaiian city of Nānākuli at just 3-months-old. Gomez told KITV4 in an interview, “He was this small, little cat that couldn’t keep down his food, so he was pretty messy all the time.” This messiness was what ultimately led Gomez and Littleton to discover Kuli's love for water.
Kuli wasn't in great shape when he was first brought home, as evidenced by the Instagram photo below from his first day with Gomez and Littleton. Kuli had just had surgery to remove one of his eyes, which had been infected, and he needed regular baths to keep him clean as he healed. These baths were his introduction to water, and he did so well that Gomez and Littleton began bringing him to the beach in a carrier to see if he would like the ocean.
Gomez went on to tell KITV4, "It’s always on his terms. We just left the carrier open by the water, and if he wants to come, he can. If he doesn’t, he’ll just go back to his safe space, so it’s just been repeated experiences till he just accepted it as the norm." It didn't take long before Kuli was learning to swim in the ocean and ride on the tip of a surfboard or even on Gomez's or Littleton's shoulders.
The Instagram video below was from when Kuli first started going out on the water.
The video below shows Kuli on Gomez's shoulders as she rides the surf at sunset.
Kuli can often be found paddling in the water near the surfboards as well, and Gomez and Littlelon love to capture his little paws treading water below the surface, as shown in the video below.
Below, Kuli rests on Littleton's shoulders as she paddles below a beautiful rainbow.
Gomez and Littleton told KITV4 that people occasionally approach them to voice concern about Kuli potentially disliking being taken to the ocean, but Gomez and Littleton always assure them that Kuli moved at his own pace and was never forced to get into the water -- he truly loves it!
While most cats wouldn't be caught dead relaxing in the water, let alone exploring the ocean, Kuli seems perfectly at home out in Honolulu's surf.
Have you ever seen a cat who loves water as much as Kuli? Share your stories in the comments below and be sure to share this gallery if you loved it!