A while back, we introduced you to Craig Armstrong and his amazing rescue cat, Millie, who like to go on rock climbing adventures together. Now it seems that Craig and Millie have inspired an entire movement to get people (and their cats, obvs) outdoors and exploring the world.
Craig calls this lifestyle “catting” (oh, how we love this), and he talks with the media about it frequently. Just a few months ago, he even gave a speech about catting to a group of students at Westminster College in Salt Lake City. When asked what inspired him to start hiking and climbing with his cat, Craig said, “I go climbing a lot, I go on a lot of weekend trips. I just started taking her with me. It just seemed like a natural thing to do.”
Natural indeed. Who doesn’t want to hang out with their pet in beautiful places? Dog people have been doing it for ages. And now inspired cat people are taking the world by storm, as evidenced by our new favorite Instagram account — Adventure Cats @adventurecatsorg.
First off, that name is giving us serious heart eyes. Adventure Cats. Adventure Cats! It kind of sounds like a super hero franchise. And the pictures are even better! These cats basically ARE superheroes. They climb. They hike. They camp. They even swim. It’s all amazing, and we just can’t look away. We CAN’T.
Adventure Cats is the brainchild of Laura Moss, who started the account as a way to inspire people to live large with their feline friends. She recently told the Huffington Post, “While cats have a reputation as being lazy and aloof, there are actually plenty of amazing cats out there who will hike alongside you or even scale a mountain with you. These are the fearless felines that Adventure Cats wants to share with the world.” Does this look lazy to you? Spoiler alert: No. No, it doesn’t. (And don’t even get us started on the pink bow. Everyone should look so fashionable when they climb mountains.)
Aloof? Not so much.
Moss has big plans for Adventure Cats. In addition to IG, she’s spreading the word about catting on Facebook and plans to launch a website next month. She’s hoping that as preconceptions about cats change and people realize just how much a furry feline friend can enrich their lives, more and more shelter cats will find loving homes. Every year in the US, 3.4 million cats enter a shelter environment, 41% of those cats are eventually euthanized. (You can see the statistics here.) With catting comes the potential to save lives. We totally get it. We really do. How could photos like these make you not want to adopt a cat?
All that being said, both Armstrong and Moss are quick to emphasize that cats, by their very nature, are different from dogs. According to Moss, “You should never just wrestle your cat into a harness, throw some kibble in your pack and think you and Fluffy are going to hike the Appalachian Trail.”
In his speeches, Armstrong urges to people to take things slow. Have patience. Start out with short walks, make sure your cat is enjoying herself and build from there. Which is exactly what Moss herself is doing with her two rescue cats. So far, their walks have been confined to Moss’s backyard, but she hopes to take them on short hikes soon. (We have a feeling they’ll get there.) The Adventure Cats IG, Facebook page and eventually the website will be a place where cat owners can get advice on leash training, exploring, hiking and even first-aid. And photos, of course. Lots and lots of photos.
I think I might need a cat.
And a tent.
[All images via Adventure Cats on Instagram @adventurecatsorg]