Experienced Adventurer Shares What It's Like To Backpack With a Cat
Most people journey outdoors with their dogs, but JJ Yosh, an experienced international mountaineer, rock climbing coach and outdoor trip organizer, likes to venture outside with his cat, Simon. Via: Adventure Cats
As an adventurer living a nomadic lifestyle, JJ Yosh barely had time to take care of his own needs let alone a cat’s, so raising a cat was far down his list of things to do.
So when Simon entered his life last year, it was a bit of shock.
He was used to going on adventures by himself or with friends, but in August 2016, his world changed when he found himself rescuing a stray mountain cat, whom he later named Simon.
JJ grew up with a cat named Rookie, whom he considered a brother. And after Rookie passed away seven years ago, he was a little reluctant to raise another cat.
But living in the mountains of Colorado, you often see people climbing peaks with their dogs, and there have been many moments where he envied those people and imagined himself with a doglike companion that he could take wherever he goes. However, being a cat person, that was kind of a tricky dilemma.
So when the opportunity to raise a cat that would enjoy tagging along on his adventures finally struck him, he embraced it full on.
As we all know, cats are not necessarily known as the type to walk with us effortlessly on a leash, so right away he knew what he was up against. But he was determined to train his cat to be a cat-dog or an adventure cat. his strategy was simple: Start with short hikes under a mile and work him up to longer treks.
Obviously, when you’re backpacking, you need to consider this additional weight, but being someone who loves to train and get fit, he welcomed the extra weight on his back.
When they first started camping together, JJ would haul in a portable litter box and also the litter.
He knows it sounds ridiculous, but he is a dedicated cat dad. Luckily Simon learned right away to potty outside, so thry could do away with the extra weight.
The most interesting part of hiking with Simon in the backcountry is the reactions they receive from passing strangers
People usually have to take two looks to register if what they are seeing is real. "Yes, that is a cat on my shoulders," I tell them.
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