The scuba diving trio begins with Gene Alba. Living in Redding, California, Alba has had over twenty years of diving experience. Eventually, the love of diving made room in Alba’s life for a little dog named Mutley who stole his heart, and he began to construct something he had never attempted before. With a little work and $40,000, Alba actually put together a suit so that Mutley could go diving with him.
Alba explains that to accomplish such an unusual, and rather complex task, he had to discover just the right balance in weight so that Mutley wouldn’t sink, nor would she float. He was able to do this by sewing pockets to the sides of the garment, which are dragged down just enough with sixteen pounds of lead. With a few more adjustments, a diving bell, and her own Plexiglas helmet, Mutley and Alba are now able to enjoy scuba diving together.
The ocean isn’t the only place Mutley loves to swim. In fact, Alba has his own pool where he and his dog can relax in the backyard. It was also a great a place to practice for the pup before she took dives in the ocean. Mutley has now gotten so good at scuba diving, that during a Caribbean cruise, she was a true certified scuba diver.
Along with other accomplishments, Mutley has won an Emmy for outstanding performance for a local San Francisco Bay Area nature show during an episode called Mac and Mutley. She has also been written about in the children’s books: Mutley Goes Diving and Mutley Goes Skiing.
It would seem odd enough that a man and his dog both go scuba diving, but later in their life, an even stranger twist occurs when a pudgy little feline stirs Alba’s heart. It begins about a decade ago, when Mutley begins to grow agitated during what would have otherwise been a normal day at the pool. Eventually sensing something was truly wrong, Alba allows the pooch to lead him away from the yard toward a fence, where they come across a helpless cat entangled in chicken wire. She was actually near death, but with Mutley’s alert senses, and Alba’s hasty mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, they were able to bring the stray back to life.
Upon finding herself with a loving family and a new name-Hawkeye-the little feline becomes part of an unlikely group. Her days with the Albas included participating in the family hobby. Yes, scuba diving. Just like Mutley before her, Hawkeye had learned the ropes of diving in the backyard pool. Of course this meant Alba would have to make yet another suit. With more time constructing a second diving garment, one that-like the first-would take some clever work and a few thousand dollars, Hawkeye was part of the diving team.
But why exactly, would a cat out of all creatures want to scuba dive? Alba thinks it has to do with her love for Mutley, and that they simply just want to be close to one another. After all, the first time Alba had discovered that Hawkeye loved water, was when she had leapt into the bathtub with an already soaked Mutley. They took a bubble bath together, swam in the pool together, and that’s when the idea of creating Hawkeye’s own suit came into play.
The building of the suit was a bit more complicated than Mutley’s, that was for sure. Because the cat had had some problems during the time that she was spayed, she is now a rather plump feline. So, needless to say, Alba had to find a way to create a garment that wouldn’t let her float, but that wouldn’t squeeze her too tight either. Eventually Alba got it right, and today, it’s not uncommon to see Alba with Mutley and Hawkeye together, scuba diving.