Mountain-Climbing Cat Happily Hikes For 10 Miles

Quandary the cat began life as a hiker at a very young, very tiny age and has kept up with his humans ever since.

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Quandary paws around the Rocky Mountains with a passion.  Via exploration_cat/Instagram
Quandary paws around the Rocky Mountains with a passion. Via exploration_cat/Instagram

From the time she was small enough to fit in the palm of her owner’s hand, Quandary Q Lotus Lady has been hiking hills with her family. She’s also brought together the family in some of the most beautiful ways, even if one of them was a betrayal.

“Graham had me sign a contract after we adopted our second kitty… that capped our feline presence until we purchased a home,” Quandary’s owner Erin Verplaetse told Petcha.com of her pact with her boyfriend at the time, Graham Shuee. “Then Graham broke the contract himself by proposing with our third kitty, because he knew I could never say ‘No!’”

 
So that’s how Verplaetse and Shuee got engaged, and how their new tiny kitten got her first taste of the great outdoors. Almost a year and a half later, the three are still climbing the mountains around their Fort Collins, Colorado, home and sharing pictures of tons gorgeous scenery and one really cute adventure cat on Instagram.
 

Quandary goes for hikes as long as 10 miles, over rocks and fields and through trees. Verplaetse says she and Shuee stay in tune with Quandary on the trail and let her hike when she wants to or hop on a pack for a while and ride.
 

“If she wants to ride in her chariot (my pack), she climbs up to her post. If she wants down to explore/hike, she does just that,” Verplaetse told us. “We’ll hike as far as she wants and not a step further!”
 

girl's best furrend🌲🐾🌿🗻

A photo posted by Quandary Q Lotus Lady (@exploration_cat) on

“We’ve developed a symbiotic relationship in our hikes,” she continued. “She brings an unknown, but pure perspective to each and every hike for us, and we provide her the opportunity to get out and back to her lioness roots.”
 

Forest princess 🌲🌲😽💕

A photo posted by Quandary Q Lotus Lady (@exploration_cat) on

Outdoor excursions inspire this kind of perspective. They also require some gear. This adventure cat has all the necessary equipment for a cat on a trek.

“Quandary has a couple different harnesses for the crazy weather we live with here in Colorado, and of course 20 to 30 different coats/sweaters to accommodate temperature differences from 5,000 feet up to 13,000,” Verplaetse said.
 

In addition to being a bad-ass climber, Quandary also acted as a sweet flower girl for Verplaetse and Shuee’s wedding. And filled the role flawlessly, it sounds like.

“She did great!” Verplaetse said. “My sister, aka the maid of honor, held her throughout the majority of the ceremony. She did get slightly spooked when a pack of coyotes in Rocky Mountain National Park started howling — it felt like a Disney ceremony at that point.”
 

The reason for the cat’s courage and comfort in the outdoors, she says, comes from the bond that the three have cultivated.

“The secret lies in the relationship we have built since she was 5 weeks old and purring in my palm,” Verplaetse told us. “The trust we’ve built is what makes it all possible. Most cats can’t handle such a drastic change from indoors to mountaintops. She can because she knows we’ve got her back.”
 

If you want to have an adventure cat, Verplaetse shares some thoughts. They speak to the understanding we have of these curious creatures whose love we have to earn.
 

🌞✨

A photo posted by Quandary Q Lotus Lady (@exploration_cat) on

“As every cat person knows, it’s all about the trust and relationship,” she said. “Cats are not dogs. They aren’t going to love you 24/7 for no reason, you have to work for it. It’s a challenge but a rewarding one.”

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