'I quit my job to travel with my cat'

Willow the rescue cat prefers to sleep while her owner drives. Photo / VanCatMeow
Willow the rescue cat prefers to sleep while her owner drives. Photo / VanCatMeow

When Richard East grew weary of his corporate lifestyle, he decided to trade it all in for a life on the road with a somewhat unusual travelling companion - a little black rescue cat.

Originally from Tasmania, Mr East decided to quit his job of ten years and sell his house in 2014. Since then, he and his pet cat Willow have travelled around Australia in a Volkswagen Transporter van.

Their adventures have been meticulously documented on the Instagram account VanCatMeow, which has gained nearly 5000 followers.


Over the last year, the pair has made their way up the east coast of Australia, stopping at idyllic spots like the Murray River, the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays along the way.

Today Willow and I visited the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour.

A photo posted by Rich & Willow (@vancatmeow) on


Mr East said the change in lifestyle suits him perfectly.

"It's a cosy campervan with everything I need," he told ABC. "All the snacks I need and a cat falling asleep on my chest. That's all I need."

Willow and I having a chat as the sun sets.

A photo posted by Rich & Willow (@vancatmeow) on


And it seems Willow, who was adopted by Mr East's ex-girlfriend as a 2-year-old, is enjoying life on the road as well.

In a blog post for The Shoko Show, Mr East said Willow likes to sleep while he drives and although he'd offered to reverse the arrangement, she declined.

"When we arrive at camp I let her explore if it is safe," he said. "But it is not enough for her to go alone, she will want me to explore with her!"

And while it's not every day that you come across a travelling cat, Mr East said he had met a few others on the road.

"People are often surprised that a cat can be a travel companion," he told BuzzFeed, "but they are probably easier to travel with than dogs as they don't require as much attention."

• Follow VanCatMeow on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube

- nzherald.co.nz

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