There are currently almost 80 million cats owned as pets in the United States. Of those, only a small percentage are "outdoor" cats, or even "indoor/outdoor" cats. Most American cats spend their days in the lap of human luxury, scratching at carpet-covered posts, feasting on tins of cat food, and chasing digital mice on an iPad screen.
This is a good thing. The lifespan of an indoor-only cat is 18 years, while most cats that are allowed to roam freely outside only live for about three. Cats have a reputation as a fierce predator, but while they have the instincts, they are a domesticated animal and are dependent on humans. They are safe and comfortable indoors, but that doesn't mean they can't have a little fun outside. A properly trained and supervised cat can accompany you just about anywhere.
Just ask Millie.
Millie and her person, Craig Armstrong, are avid desert explorers in Utah.
Millie is quite adventuresome, but Craig is always there to keep her safe.
Ever since they met at the adoption center, and she climbed right up to his shoulders.
Just like a person, Millie required a little practice and training to get ready for her new life of fun and excitement.
Sometimes she leads the way, sometimes she is just following along.
Armstrong refers to their trips as "catting" instead of hiking.
The experience is very different because the exploration is inspired by where Millie wants to go.
It has given Craig a new appreciation for the same old trails.
Because now he can see them through the eyes of a cat.
Millie really enjoys a good climb.
Even at home.
But it's not a climb without the proper gear. Millie's got her own custom rig.
In case of danger, Millie can take shelter inside Craig's jacket.
But she usually likes to be out, enjoying the scenery.
Of course, adventure is tiring.
Nothing wakes a cat up like a refreshing dip, though.
Don't mistake this for easy. It takes patience to train a cat to be like Millie.
After all, it's equal parts obedience and endurance.
And keeping her from straying where Craig can't quite reach.
But it's worth it.
This inseparable duo wouldn't have it any other way.
Via: ViralNova | Craig Armstrong