When Erika Johnson and Eric Mercer first created an Instagram account for their cat, Magic, they never imagined how popular it would become.
“Turns out a lot of people are interested,” said Mercer, who lives in Seattle with Los Altos native Johnson.
Magic’s account, @furrymagic, has nearly 22,000 followers – more than double the population of Los Altos Hills – and he’s been featured on Seattle’s evening news.
Magic has had an Instagram account since “the day we picked him up,” Johnson said. They adopted Magic from an informal rescue organization in San Jose, which she said is “mostly social-media based, specifically Instagram.”
The couple started the Instagram account so that friends and family could follow Magic’s adventures. Magic joins Johnson and Mercer on hikes, camping trips and other outdoor exploits.
Johnson, a graduate of Homestead High School, said her love of the outdoors stems from her experiences growing up in the Bay Area.
Johnson and Mercer got the idea of making Magic an adventure cat – one that is leash-trained and goes on outdoor expeditions – by following Instagram accounts of other people’s pets.
Adventure cats are able to go outdoors on a leash, according to Johnson, while regular cats are either “indoor or free-roaming outdoor.”
While Magic had some experience on a leash before being adopted, Johnson said she and Mercer took him to a park nearly every day for the first few months they owned him to prepare the cat for adventures to come.
“We try to take him on at least half of our adventures,” Mercer said, “which can be as frequent as five to seven days a week in summer or as few as once a month in winter.”
While adventure cats share many qualities with dogs – such as being curious, social, willing to explore and having the desire to follow their owners around – Johnson emphasized that adventure cats have minds of their own.
“They are much more opinionated,” Mercer added.