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Meet the woman sailing around the world with her intrepid pet cat

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Sarah Biddlecombe
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We've already heard about the island where you can play with rescue puppies, but these dogs aren't the only animals relishing the holiday lifestyle.

Enter Amelia the Tropicat, who is enjoying a life of fishing, sunbathing and plenty of naps as she accompanies her US-born human Liz Clark on a sailing adventure around the world.

Amelia and Clark live on Swell, a fibreglass sailboat that is 11 feet wide and 40 feet long. 

The pair have been exploring together since November 2013, when Clark adopted Amelia after finding her in an empty mansion on a mountain.

Writing on her travel blog, Clark described the six-month-old kitten as having a "commanding lioness air" and "carefree bravado" and said she knew straight away the two were "meant to be together".

Clark named the tiger striped kitten Amelia after Amelia Earhart, the intrepid explorer and first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic, as she "sensed right away that we shared a similar thirst for adventure".

And while adjusting to life on board the boat "wasn't easy at first" for the kitten, Amelia soon settled into her new surroundings.

Although she still hates swimming and has a strong dislike of the sea, Clark told BuzzFeed that her fistmate has "learned to trust that she will be safe with me".

“She has to go out of a cat comfort zone often,” Clark said.

“But I think she now understands that I will keep her safe and she will have a lot of fun in the end. She makes Swell feel much more like a home.”

Clark, a self-proclaimed 'She-Pirate' from San Diego, had dreamed of sailing around the world since she was young and finally set her ambition into motion in 2006.

Having set sail from California she has so far covered over 18,000 nautical miles and journeyed along the western coast of Mexico and Central America, as well as travelling to the South Pacific.

Describing her simple life on board Swell, Clark said, "I sleep on a pool mat under the stars, but I feel rich when I look up at that night sky and breath the fresh ocean air and leap into the sea each morning.”

Life on board Swell seems equally idyllic for Amelia, whose favourite activity is fishing from the boat.

“On calm nights, she fishes off of a soft top surfboard attached to the side of Swell with a small light that attracts fish,” Clark said. 

She enjoys making plenty of new friends, both on and off shore.

She also accompanies Clark on adventures on land, where she likes to climb trees and hike through the jungle.

And, of course, she enjoys relaxing after a long day of exploring.

"She did enjoy a bit of luxury in her down time, though, sprawling indulgently across her pillows," Clark said.

You can keep up with Amelia and Clark's adventures on Clark's blog and follow the fearless pair on Instagram here.

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Sarah Biddlecombe

Sarah Biddlecombe is an award-winning journalist and Digital Features Editor at Stylist

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