Everyone with a shelf knows that cats are notoriously great climbers, but you might never guess they make good rock climbing partners.
When avid rock climber Craig Armstrong spotted Millie at the animal adoption haven Furburbia in Utah, it was love at first sight, and ever since that fateful day, the two have been inseparable.
"She climbed up my back and sat on my shoulders. It took about four seconds to realize we were now partners and would be going on many journeys together. I go on a lot of weekend climbing adventures. It never seemed odd to me, just seemed like something I'd do with my pet, take her places."
Armstrong quickly took to teaching Millie the ins and outs of mountain climbing, which included lots of practice training Millie to not run off by herself. He did this by bringing her to local parks, allowing her to become comfortable with the outdoors and all the distractions that would inevitably come up as they were adventuring.
"She doesn't like wide-open spaces with no cover, so I'd take her to a big island in the Great Salt Lake, get out of the truck, and start hiking up a hill. Rather than be alone out in the open, she'd follow me."
According to Armstrong, there're plenty of pros and cons to taking your cat into the wilderness. On one hand, they might pee in your tent, but they also might catch wayward mice, so in the end the choice is really up to you.
His advice to anyone thinking about bringing their cat with them? Work carefully towards it, and even after a lot of practice, be prepared to explore at a slower pace, because no matter what, cats will always want to do their own thing.
If you want to see more of Chris and Millie's climbing adventures, you can find him on Instagram. Or if you're feeling inspired, you can always explore one of our awesome guides to plan a rock climbing adventure of your own, with or without your furry friend.