By Scott Martin

My wife and I went for an evening paddle down the Susquehanna River recently. We heard a loud sound from an animal, but we couldn’t make it out at first. Then we heard it again. I looked at Ashley and she said, “That’s a cat.” Scanning the bank I saw a little kitten running down the bank of the river with us. She was tiny but surprisingly clean. I paddled over to the riverside mud and the cat jumped straight onto my kayak. Before I knew it she was on my shoulder, meowing loudly in my ear. My wife paddled over and the kitten jumped a foot across the water onto her kayak. I grabbed my phone and snapped a photo. The kitten appeared to be alone on this remote section of river and was clearly hungry, so we decided to take it out with us. We finished the remaining two-mile paddle with the kitten enjoying the float.

We took her home, fed her, and started asking friends who wanted a cat. Sparrow, as she was named, now lives with a lovely family in Rye Beach, NH. They lost their family cat a few months ago and where smiling ear to ear when they received her.

[RELATED: How to Raise a Canoeing Cat]

— Scott Martin is a contributing photographer to Canoe & Kayak magazine.