Meet Himalayan Pierre – The Cat Turning Heads On The Gold Coast

It’s Sunday afternoon and I’m standing on the beach. I’m at the Southern end of the Gold Coast at Burleigh Heads. Looking North, the high rise extends for as far as the eye can see, as if to dare stand up to the power of the Pacific Ocean, and it is along that line that the people gather.

With border closures in force, the once playground to the rich and famous, to theme park goers and casino rollers, to celebrities and international models has been reclaimed by the locals – but there is still someone continuing to turn heads.

A fluffy cat named Pierre.

I continue South past the headland to our meeting place, Tallebudgera Creek. Pulling up at the carpark I’m lucky to find a spot and it is clear to see why – the sandy sides of the creek offer a sheltered swimming area away from the pounding waves of the Pacific. The area is packed with people enjoying the afternoon.

I walk past the playground and BBQs that line the creek unsure exactly who I’m looking out for. Then I spot the unmistakable sight of a fluffy Himalayan cat perched over his human’s shoulder.

As I approach I’m greeted by Jenny.

Pleased to meet you! This is Tony, and my daughter Libby.

And of course, Pierre.

We walk along the pathway by the side of the creek where there is a picnic table to sit down at.

The Flamepoint Himalayan settles on the table with his paws overhanging. He casually watches the steady stream of beach goers along the path, many doing a double take as they realise he’s a cat.

Pierre is happy to be out of the house. A year ago he developed a corneal ulcer which put his outdoor adventures on hold for a while.

He couldn’t open his eye, Jenny tells me.

The painful condition affected his right eye resulting in an irritated patch above his pupil and a cloudiness across the entire eye. Although he is recovering well, it will take many months for his medication to finish its job.

Back on the pathway, passersby exclaim when they see the cat and many take out their phones to snap a photo. Pierre isn’t bothered by the attention, and seems to know how to work the camera – a head tilt here, an outstretched paw there – and nor is he bothered by the dogs walking past who are not quite sure what to make of him.

We make our way further down the path on our way to the mouth of the creek. Tony places Pierre next to a tree, a Pandanus that he is well familiar with. He climbs on and nestles in the trunk watching over the creek.

Today it is warm and the sky blue, a day very different to the day he was adopted. It was in a storm, so to speak, 10 years ago that Pierre came into their lives.

We were shopping for carpet and there was this torrential rain with thunder and lightening, Jenny tells me.

Next door was a pet shop, and they decided to go in while the weather passed. Inside was a litter of flamepoint fluff-balls awaiting their furever homes.

They were drawn to Pierre with his boofy head and big blue eyes – the runt of the litter. As the pet shop girl handed him to Tony to hold, Tony turned to Jenny to ask, what do you think? But the decision had already been made.

We didn’t get the carpet but we came home with a gorgous cat instead, Jenny says.

We arrive at the start of the breakwater and make our way down to the beach that extends all the way to Currumbin Point. Although Pierre is on his harness and lead he makes no objection to being carried over Tony’s shoulder.

Though as we settle on the beach by the rocks of the breakwater he is keen to get down and explore before finding a nice sandy spot to sit.

As collected as ten-year-old Pierre is on his regular outings, it’s not something he has been doing his whole life.

We didn’t want him being inside all day, Tony tells me. Tony purchased a leash and harness and started taking him for walks outside at night. When he was around 5 they started venturing down to the beach and parks.

We put him in the car and he just loved it, Tony says. Pierre, wide eyed as he sits on the rear dash watching the world go by.

His leash and harness is kept in a filing cabinet and you can guarantee that whenever he hears that drawer open he’ll come running from wherever in the house he may be.

He’ll run down and be at the door ready to go out, Tony says.

Tony reaches down to adjust Pierre’s harness and Pierre makes it known that this is something that should have been addressed before they left the car!

On the rocks there are many places perfect for an inquisitive cat to explore and hide, but only on the larger rocks does he have a vantage point over the entire beach.

For all the love that Pierre’s family have for him it is a love that is reciprocated ten-fold.

He knows when I am sick. He’ll come and try to comfort me, Jenny tells me.

With the greatest care and attention Pierre knows when his family needs him most, and he’ll be there for them.

The sun is getting low now and it’s nearly time for Pierre to go home. Tony picks him up and cradles him over his shoulder, Pierre holding on with his paws and an outstretched foot for balance.

When he gets home he will go straight for his food bowl, and after a feed he’ll get comfortable on his favourite chair for a snooze.

On our walk back to the carpark I get one last snap of Pierre perched on the rail beside the pathway. But I’m not the only one – a passerby takes out her phone and takes a snap for herself.

It’s not every day you see a cat at Tallebudgera Creek, but when you do you can guarantee he’ll be turning heads.

* * *

Thank you so much to Pierre’s family for letting me into his world for an afternoon. I can’t wait to take Steph and Willow to Tallebudgera Creek, it’s such a beautiful place.

If you’d like to keep up with Pierre’s adventures check out @flamepointhimalaya on Instagram.

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