Maverick the Surfing Cat taught to hang ten by former Orlando professional wakeboarder

Nick Heaney spent more than a decade in Orlando as a professional wakeboarder.

 "It's a feeling. And I'm drawn to it," said Heaney. "Whether it's wakeboarding, surfing. Even just sometimes you just gotta get wet, right?"

A few years ago, Heaney and his partner, Kayla Tabish, got their cat named "Maverick" as a gift.

"Maverick is just like so special to us," Tabish said. "We don't have children, so we're kind of that new-age people where your pets are your kids. So I'd say he pretty much means the world to us."

They started taking Maverick everywhere. They created a special harness for walks, and then with Heaney's love for the water, they made a special "SurferCat" life jacket which they sell online now. Nick gradually trained "Mav" to get onto boards.

(Courtesy: Nick Healey and Kayla Tabish)

(Courtesy: Nick Heaney and Kayla Tabish)

"I think I like cracked a joke or something, 'like it would be so cool if he surfed," Tabish said. "And I think that that kind of ignited it."

"I was able to get him surfing without, like got him on the board without falling in, without him getting wet, so there was no falls," Heaney said. "And he really took to it. I put the grip all over the whole board, so he could use his nails and hang ten. He just took to it, and that's how it started."


And what it turned into has been a whirlwind. Maverick surfs and goes on the kayak and the paddleboard. He's traveled all over the U.S. with the couple. He's been featured in two TV shows and magazine articles. 

(Courtesy: Nick Heaney and Kayla Tabish)

Maverick has his own Instagram page with 100,000 followers, and the couple says he loves it all.

"Some people are like 'Oh, wouldn't your cat rather be at home?' definitely not," Heaney said. "He is much happier when he's out with us. And he just likes to be outside, whether he's just walking in a park, or on a hiking trail, or you know, at a café just sitting in his bag trying to blend in and be part of his surroundings."

He may try to blend in, but this cat certainly stands out.