Motorhoming | Family Motor Coach Association
Type of pet: A Fur Person — Feline
Breed: Classic red and white tabby Persian
Winwillo Catha Da Mahra (Scottish Gaelic for “Princess Of the Sea”). We call her Princess.
She is 11 years old. She was born June 29, 1995, in Surrey, British Columbia.
Owners: Barb and Willie Harkness, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
FMCA membership number: F351103 (we joined in 2004)
How often does your pet accompany you on motorhome trips?
Princess always travels with her parents. The fur child has motorhomed with us since the beginning. She especially loves her motorhome.
What type of motorhome do you own:
A 31-foot 2004 Monaco Monarch SE
What do you like best about motorhoming with your pet?
The company and entertainment that she offers, not to mention the unconditional love. She is a joy to travel with, and even helps to raise funds for a children's hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, Willie’s hometown.
Was it easy for your pet to adapt to motorhome travel?
She did a lot of air traveling around the northwest of North America for her “beauty pageants” — cat shows. She is a registered purebred with TICA (the International Cat Association). I think the motorhome was a dream for her, with all that space! And Mommy and Daddy are there, too.
Does your pet have a favorite spot in the motorhome?
Let’s see now, there’s the pan view windshield, the bathroom, and of course there’s the bed where all three of us have to sleep.
What are your pet’s favorite toys?
A silver paper ball. She loves playing “bally” with her dad. Dad fetches and Princess watches. Yes, she has her dad well trained; I wish I could train him as well as she has. And there’s the comb, her other favorite toy. Every time the bathroom door opens, she jumps on the counter, her paw pointing to the drawer where her comb is. You may not believe this, but just ask anyone who knows us and they’ll tell you. It’s true.
Have you modified your motorhome in any way to accommodate your pet? Any special furniture or equipment?
She has her scratch post, her litter box (no cold morning walks for us), and her sheepskin-sleeping circle. Also, I made a whole dash cover so she would be comfortable wherever she curls up. Plus, it keeps all that fur out of the vents. Let’s see … spoiled cat, hmmm, yes.
What is your favorite activity to do with your pet while traveling?
As cats sleep 18 hours a day, I’d say napping. But seriously, we enjoy getting out of the coach for a stretch of the legs. Princess loves her walks on a leash, bike rides (in the basket of course) and to watch her favorite sport, soccer. It is not unusual for the kids around the parks to come and ask "Can Princess come out and play?" You see, she never really puts her claws out, and just loves people, especially her Daddy.
Advice for other motorhomers who travel with pets or are considering traveling with pets?
Watch the water, especially with cats. Any change and make a difference. I don’t know about your fur child, but Princess hates having her bloomers washed. So we always use the filtered water for her.
Princess started participating in beauty pageants when she was just 1 year old. She Supremed in a show-and-a-half. In 1997 she was given the honor of being ninth best Alter International with TICA. Now she is retired from competition and is our baby now.
In Glasgow, there are key chains and bookmarks of her sold to raise funds for the children’s hospital. It’s amazing what one little animal can do for so many.
She is an amazing little FUR PERSON and, as you can tell, her mommy loves her dearly.
If your pet would like to participate in Pet Spotlight, send an e-mail to [email protected].