Cats are known for their agility and resilience, less so their stomachs for high speed, trans-continental motorbike travel.
But Mogli, a European shorthair, breaks the mould as she and her owner Martin Klauka embarked on a cross-border journey from their home in Germany with Dubai the final destination.
The pair left last week from Rosenheim, Bavaria, and intend to take in up to 15 countries on their trip to the UAE on a Honda XRV 750 Africa Twin bike. The ride will take them three months, with the goal of being in Dubai in November, and quarantine is not an issue for Mogli as she is microchipped and vaccinated against rabies.
“We will cross about 11 to 15 countries, all with their different history and culture,” said Mr Klauka , who has a background in the logistics industry.
“The route will take us on small roads down from Germany through the Austrian and Slovenian Alps into Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, then heading south, through the Dinaric Alps, crossing Montenegro, Albania and Macedonia into Greece, Turkey, Iran until we reach the UAE.”
Mr Klauka, 31, started travelling the world in 2009.
“I kind of slipped into it, I guess. It all started with a trip to Australia in 2007, at the age of 21,” he said. “After two years my visa ran out and I had to leave the country and, on the way back, I passed by Bangkok and did a few short trips from there. I was taken aback by the cultural differences, the food, the noise, the people, everything.
“I liked the experiences and it was clear to me then that I wanted to explore more of the world.”
In 2015, Mr Klauka bought his first motorbike when he was in Vietnam with a friend. He fell in love with riding and decided that his next trip should be on a motorbike.
“We went on a three-month backpacking trip through Southeast Asia, starting in Bangkok, we went to Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.” he said.
“Mostly we would use buses, tuk-tuk’s and ships to get around but just before entering Vietnam we decided to buy motorbikes. We went to Hanoi and got really messed up 100cc Honda Wins and started on our way.
“What followed was 3,077km of endless streets, mountains, rainforests, dunes and the sea, in an ever-changing landscape.
“Apart from a few setbacks, like when I crashed, it was brilliant and I decided that the next trip should be on a motorbike.”
At this point Mr Klauka didn’t anticipate that his new feline friend would be joining him but they met for the first time a few months ago.
“I found her in April near my place in Rosenheim. She was about two months old and it seemed that she had lost her mother,” he said.
“Mogli wasn’t well at all as she was starving, exhausted, cold, tired, messy and covered in fleas. Her tail was torn and lifeless and had to be amputated later on. I took her in my arm and she fell asleep instantly. That was the beginning of a wonderful friendship.”
However, Mr Klauka was left in a quandary as to what to do with Mogli as his next big trip approached.
“Obviously a cat would compete with my upcoming travel plans and I tried to think of a solution for this problem,” he said. “I sat her in the tank bag on my bike and went for a ride. To my surprise, it didn’t seem to bother her at all.
“It’s not easy to have a cat on-board as I have to plan more and longer breaks, take food, find a place for her to do her business and tell her that she can’t run around sometimes. Shopping is also difficult with a cat on my shoulder.”
Once safely in Dubai, the pair plan to stay for a few months and earn some money to continue travelling.
“I’ll meet up with Feras, an Emirati friend, there and we will continue the trip together after a few months, most likely towards India, Nepal and the Himalayas,” he said.
“Once I get to Dubai, I’ll have to look for work as I’m going to need to stock up on travel funds but there seem to be a few options and, with a background in logistics, it should be possible to find something.”
As for Mogli, Mr Klauka said that she will continue on the journey for as long as she wishes, so no doubt she can tick a few more countries off her bucket list before their adventure ends.