While you struggle to wake up from bed just to get to the toilet, this cat and his hooman have had plenty of adventure time across Malaysia – just like Finn and Jake (or Fiona and Cake).
It’s not uncommon to see animals joining their human parents for outdoor activities in other countries, but it’s certainly rare seeing local hikers doing the same, especially with a cat.
Azhan Dziaruddin and his cat, Jibek, have been hiking since the furball was only six months old. To this day, Jibek has conquered over 30 mountains in Malaysia, including seven of tallest mountains in West Malaysia (G7).
Jibek has conquered Gunung Chamah, Gunung Ulu Sepat, Gunung Yong Yap, Gunung Korbu, Gunung Gayong, Gunung Yong Belar and the highest, Gunung Tahan, which stands at 2,190 metres tall.
“The first time Jibek joined my hiking adventures I brought him to Gunung Huang in Hulu Langat when he was only six months old,” Azhan told mStar.
“At first I was sceptical and worried if he’ll act out but I was really surprised that he liked it so much and he didn’t even want to stay in his bag,” Azhan continued.
When they go out, Jibek would usually sit around his shoulders during the hike. When he feels like roaming around on his own, Jibek will go down but with a harness attached to Azhan.
Azhan said that Jibek is a mixed breed of Maine Coon and kucing kampung (domestic) and is now four years old. Jibek got his name from his weird habit when he was smaller, which is licking bags. So Azhan shortened “Jilat Bag” (licking bags) to “Jibek”.
According to the 39-year-old, he’s never had a pet until he met Jibek who was left alone near his home. He said that at the time, he was browsing the internet to find a pet cat. While looking, he found Jibek and his younger sibling who were dumped.
“I took it as a sign of rezeki (good fortune) and without thinking too much, I brought them home but sadly, Jibek’s brother passed away,” Azhan said.
One of the things that’s special about the cat, according to Azhan is that every time the duo goes out for a hike, Jibek will show concern if he feels the path is unsafe or when a wild animal is nearby. It even feels like Jibek can sense the supernatural sometimes, according to Azhan.
Apart from his sense of adventure, bravery and alertness, Azhan said Jibek taught him the meaning of patience. “To be honest, I’m not a very patient guy but with Jibek, he’s taught me a lot about patience since I have to follow his beat.
“I can’t imagine going on my adventures without him and God willing, I will keep bringing him to see the world,” Azhan said.
Azhan said the longest trip they had was four days and three nights, and so far Jibek has enjoyed every moment of it. Recently, Jibek had his first paragliding experience in Kuala Kubu Bahru and like many adventures before, he was calm even though they were up in the air.
One of Azhan’s dreams is to hike with Jibek to the summits of some of the mountains in Indonesia (yes, Jibek has his own cat passport!) but unfortunately, the pandemic happened so they had to postpone their trip.
It’s safe to say that Jibek is a one-of-a-kind feline and is living his best life, as we all should. Follow Jibek’s adventures on Instagram meow!