Camille Botello and Benito travel down the Kenai Peninsula on June 6, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Camille Botello and Benito travel down the Kenai Peninsula on June 6, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Out of the Office: Furry friend

Adventuring in Alaska has been much better with my fur buddy.

Moving to the Kenai Peninsula from the Lower 48 is a pretty large feat in and of itself, but doing it alone is even more of a challenge. And honestly, before I had a solid circle of friends to spend the weekends with, it was mostly just he and I.

Benito — who, before you ask, was named after a Puerto Rican rapper — is just over a year old, and he’s already traveled throughout Southcentral Alaska and even up into the Interior a couple hundred miles both on foot and in his backpack.

He’s a real curious guy — always slipping through open doors to run out into the snow. At this point, his 6-foot leash is even too restrictive. All he wants to do is run.

In the past year, Benito and I have watched belugas pass by from the sand of North Kenai Beach, strolled along the Homer Harbor, gone window shopping through downtown Seward, camped in Cooper Landing and Denali National Park, slept in the sun in Talkeetna and ice skated at Daubenspeck Pond.

I started taking him almost everywhere when he was just a baby. Now, when I leave him at home everyone wonders where he is.

The little guy has been the best adventure companion over the past year, and I look forward to where I’ll take him next.

Oh, and, did I mention he’s a cat?

Camille Botello and Benito go out for a walk in Anchorage on Jan. 24, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Camille Botello and Benito go out for a walk in Anchorage on Jan. 24, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Benito walks on the Kenai Bluff on Nov. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Benito walks on the Kenai Bluff on Nov. 11, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Benito lays on North Kenai Beach on April 16, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Benito lays on North Kenai Beach on April 16, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Benito goes car camping on May 14, 2021. (Camille Botello)

Benito goes car camping on May 14, 2021. (Camille Botello)

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